Platelet rich plasma or PRP is a part of the blood that has been processed to contain a high concentration of platelets. It contains platelets, white blood cells, and red blood cells, depending on how it is prepared. Also, it contains growth factors and substances like insulin-like growth factor 1. PRP can be injected at an injury site or can be made into a platelet rich fibrin clot, which will be used as a scaffold and source of sustained release of growth factors.
The Science Behind PRP Therapy
Platelets contain a lot of growth factors and signaling molecules in their granules. These growth factors include the transforming growth factor beta and platelet-derived growth factor that both minimize the expression of inflammatory cytokines. In addition, these growth factors encourage the proliferation and differentiation of resident cells. By delivering a high concentration of growth factors directly to the injury site, the natural healing response of the body is improved. This is how PRP works.
What Does PRP Do?
Different kinds of PRP products are often given as injections to heal and repair injuries. Platelets help blood clot when there is an injury. Their cytokines and growth factors can help repair injuries and encourage healing. Some studies claim that platelet rich plasma treatment may be used for treating knee osteoarthritis, tennis elbow, sports injuries such as joint sprains, pulled muscles, and ligament tears, as well as fractures, hair loss, and wounds. Overall, the success of this treatment is highly variable because of the variability of the PRP preparations used. But, it is safe and possibly useful in treating man orthopedic conditions.
Preparing PRP starts by drawing the blood of the patient and separating it using spins in a centrifuge. An initial spin separates the white blood cells into a layer of red cells, a layer with platelets and white blood cells, and platelet poor plasma. Sometimes, a second spin is performed to further concentrate the platelets. When completely spun, the platelets can be activated when desired. When the platelets are activated before injection, they release the contents of their granules and start the formation of a blood clot. This process is a must to form a platelet-rich fibrin clot; however, it’s not known if activation is important when PRP is being used for a local injection because platelets normally activate when it comes into contact with collagen and other substances at injection sites.