Platelets – or thrombocytes – play a leading role as biological activating agents in present-day regenerative medicine. Far more than a thousand different bioactive agents are currently known to be effective in combination with the associated plasma, and various techniques have been developed to increase platelet concentration and change their ratio to serum content or other blood cells. The process is still under refinement towards ever improving and more predictable results.
PRP is produced individually for each application and patient from the patient’s own blood. The treatment involves drawing 40-80 ml of blood from a vein in the arm, and separating the various components using gravity (minimal manipulation) in a specialised centrifuge. The desired active ingredients produced by the body are pipetted out and filled into a syringe for injection. This process requires utmost care in sterile conditions, and takes about twenty minutes in total.
PRP (platelet-rich plasma) is a component produced by the body administered in concentrated and purified form from normal, automatic healing in a healthy state. Tissue injury may lead to smaller or greater vessels being damaged, which then release blood from the vascular system into the tissues. We are all familiar with wound response from bruising or open wounds as “full” blood is released. Cell components that provide functions such as oxygenation and infection defence in the vascular system do useful work there, but may irritate or cause cell death outside the vascular system, leading to painful bruising or open wounds during the healing process.
While these blood components disrupt wound healing, other blood components essential in healing injured tissue are also released, and function as signalling proteins (cytokines) in the fluid component of blood (plasma) and platelets as clotting cells (thrombocytes or platelets). Platelets release cytokines and growth factors towards specifically dismantling and rebuilding injured tissues with the help of pericytes (a type of stem cell present in all tissues) to activate the body’s own regeneration process.
Making various PRP preparations with different proportions of blood cells in varying proportion to platelets, and filtering out the components that disrupt healing and cause pain, ensures targeted activation of the body’s regeneration processes while avoiding side effects as far as possible.
The main role of PRP is to release pericytes from the vessel walls so as to modulate control of various stem cell components and growth factors.
After drawing blood and a testing the preparation in controlled measures, cell plasma concentrates (PRP or PRGF) are applied directly to the lesion. Ultrasonically controlled injection techniques ensure exact application of a concentration of biosignals in the form of cytokines and growth factors. The actual tissue healing and regeneration begins with the body’s own automatic physiological process, which might be viewed as a kind of “reset” for the body’s own self-healing system – local, forced, effective, safe, and without foreign substances and their side effects, resulting in a natural wound healing process.