Platelet Rich Plasma Benefits: Myth or Reality

Platelet Rich Plasma Benefits: Myth or Reality

Tremendous scientific studies are being carried out for the better utilization of various compounds which occur naturally in the human body or from some other source, for the sake of enhancing the health of a patient. Platelet-rich plasma is one such field in which a lot of studies have been going on for a few decades. It’s important for you to first understand what is platelet rich plasma.

What is platelet-rich plasma?

The platelet rich plasma, or the PRP as it is commonly referred to, is an autologous creation which is manufactured from the venous blood of the patients. In the natural system, the platelets move to the inflammation site in the body and release a substance called Alpha granuli.  The components of the PRP include various growth factors viz.:

  1. Chemokines
  2. Cytokines
  3. PDGF
  4. PDAF
  5. VEGF
  6. IGF
  7. TGF- β

Platelets are said to perform the role in hemostasis and are the origin of growth factors.  The releasing of the abovementioned growth factors is catalyzed by platelets using various components or substances like calcium chloride or collagen. The importance of growth factors lies in the fact that they are responsible for the healing of wounds, chemotaxis, differentiation, proliferation, and angiogenesis. Similar to that of the growth factors, some components that are necessary for wound healing include vitronectin, 1-phosphate, fibronectin, sphingosine, etc. A benefit of PRP is that upon triggering or platelet activation, there is a release of growth factors in multiples, helping in healing a wound quickly.

The method has gained popularity because of the simple underlying fact that since it the own blood of the patient’s body, it reduces the risk of transmission of any disease. In addition, local injections of the platelet-rich plasma can be administered extremely well at clinics and are available at economic costs. There are misconceptions, however, in the medical field that PRP is the carrier of stem cells, bone marrow and mesenchymal, which is not really true.

  • Platelet-rich plasma separation: Now that you have understood what is platelet rich plasma, you should understand the separation processes carried out in the laboratory. A patient’s blood is first collected and centrifuged for a period of time at a determined speed, so as to separate the blood into three components viz. the Platelet-rich plasma (PRP), Platelet poor plasma (PPP) and the red blood cells. There are two types of spins involved in the process which are: firstly, the hard spin which separates the platelet-rich plasma and red fraction from the platelet poor plasma. Secondly, a soft spin is essential for the separation of the red fraction from the platelet-rich plasma. The PRP having the highest density of all the three settles at the bottom and is separated for further methods. The entire process of centrifugation and separation takes only 12 minutes to finish.
  • Benefits of platelet-rich plasma: The use of platelet-rich plasma in hard and soft augmentation enables vascularization of graft, allows in a quick improvement in healing procedures related to soft tissues, helps in minimizing post-operative illness and facilitates bone regeneration. The PRP helps in managing graft materials, helps in ease of packing in the grafting site, which is beneficial in managing space and in bone regeneration too. Since the PRP includes various growth factors that have been discussed previously, they help to catalyze angiogenesis and help in fibroblast differentiation. Research suggests that using PRP for healing soft tissues will be a good advancement in the medical field. Studies show that using PRP helps in adhesion of graft and reduces the micro-movement, which will help in good graft acceptance. In addition, the use of PRP has also been seen to reduce scar formation. In the case of wound healing, the use of PRP is thought to heal the wound of patients about 2 to 3 times quicker than the normal recovery, which is an amazing advancement in the medical field. In the case of bone healing too, the recovery is seen to be 50% faster than what it is normally. Besides, the use of PRP also helps in keeping the skin tight. It also has applications in gynecological disorders.
  • Safety of using plasma rich platelets: Even though there are many positive inputs from researches about using PRP, the concern of safety has to be taken into consideration seriously. In a few studies, it has been observed that if the growth factors are increased in a local area, the effects may be carcinogenic. In addition, there might be immunogenic reactions due to the use of bovine thrombin, which is used to activate the plasma rich platelets.

Even though most of the data that has been generated reveals that PRP is safe to use, there is still some scope in studying and understanding the concept more deeply, in order to help mankind, live better.

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