Yep, it’s Platelet-Rich Plasma. There has been numerous speculations about which one among the latest Platelet-Rich family was the greatest—is it the plasma or the fibrin or even latest the A-fibrin? That confusion is somewhat over now.
Platelet-products are known to facilitate angiogenesis, hemostasis, osteogenesis, and bone growth. But see, the only reason plasma can do that is because of the growth factors it carries. Let’s review the specific roles of these growth factors in the healing process.
Growth Factors In Platelet-Rich Plasma
These are growth factors that are traditionally known to have played a vital healing role in PRP. If you’re seeing your patients get better as a result of that injection you gave, these are guys you need to thank for.
Platelet-Derived Growth Factor (PDGF): Regulates cell growth and division. Especially in blood vessels. In other words, this guy is the reason the blood vessels in our body reproduces.
Transforming Growth Factor Beta(TGF-b): Responsible for overall cell proliferation, differentiation, and other functions.
Fibroblast Growth Factor (FGF): Plays a vital role in the wound healing process and embryonic development. Also behind the proliferation and differentiation of certain specialized cells and tissues.
Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor: Responsible for vasculogenesis and angiogenesis. Restores oxygen supply in cells when inadequate. It also helps create new blood vessels after injury.
Keratinocyte Growth Factor (KGF): Found in the epithelialization-phase of wound healing. In other words, it causes the formation of epithelium immediately after a wound or injury occurs.
Connective Tissue Growth Factor: Major functions in cell adhesion, migration, proliferation, angiogenesis, skeletal development, and tissue wound repair.
These growth factors are what enables a Platelet-Rich product in tissue regeneration.
Platelet-Rich Plasma Rules
However, this new study suggests Platelet-Rich Plasma and it’s gelled cousin Platelet-Rich Fibrin both differ in the release of these growth factors which can significantly affect the healing outcome.
Here’s the takeaway:
“The advantage of PRP is the release of significantly higher proteins at earlier time points whereas PRF displayed a continual and steady release of growth factors over a 10-day period.”
Some argue that PRP enriched with large number of growth factors (a portion of it may even be excess) produce short-term effect and so is less desirable than a PRF whose release is slower and thus more beneficial in the long run.
That being said, PRF do have some advantage over PRP. Mainly:
It doesn’t need thrombin and anticoagulants.
It results in better healing due to its slow polymerization process.
And it helps in hemostasis.
How Platelet-Rich Plasma Differs From Platelet-Rich Fibrin
Platelet-Rich Plasma is a result of double spin method — a hard spin to separate red blood cells from everything everything else in the autologous (or whole) blood and a soft spin to separate the platelets and white blood cells. The result is Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP), Platelet-Poor Plasma (PPP) and Red Blood Cells.
PRF is a newer method. Here after the first centrifugation, the middle layer is taken—which contains less platelets but more clotting factors. This gradually forms into a fibrin network and traps in the cytokines. It is then centrifuged in a PRF centrifuge resulting in PRF, a fibrin layer containing platelets and plasma.
What Matters In Healing
Obviously, when it comes to accelerating healing, immediate availability of growth factors and cytokines matter. So I believe PRP does a better job in this than PRF. Also the immediate release of growth factors for PRP means we can repeat the PRP injections for more healing factors just days after initial injection.
Platelet-derived products are in it’s infancy now. However, considering the huge potential benefits, there’s still a lot more research to be done. How about you? Which of these do you find beneficial?
If you’re a physician using any or both of these, do write to us and let us know of your experiences. Use the contact form here.
“You start out happy that you have no hips or boobs. All of a sudden you get them, and it feels sloppy. Then just when you start liking them, they start drooping.”
Just like men associate (some of) their masculinity with the shape and size of their muscles, women associate (some of) their femininity with the shape and size of their breasts. However, unlike the muscles, exercise won’t be of much help for augmenting the size of breasts.
Fortunately, we have an array of procedures to the rescue. And today, we’re going to take a look at everything that Platelet-Rich Plasma can do for breast augmentation.
Platelet-Rich Plasma For Breast Augmentation
PRP & Breasts: The Incorrect Perception
Currently the traditional breast augmentation procedures like breast implant surgery and fat grafting are still the most effective methods. However, the general public do talk about Platelet-Rich Plasma for breast augmentation. And often times, they have a wrong perception of it. Here’s their typical conversation with a dermatologist goes.
Patient:”Hey, I heard about this thing called PRP, and I was told it’s just a couple of injections with stuff drawn from our own blood.”
Doctor: “Yeah, they are really good.”
Patient: “Really? You think so? I also heard they’re good for breast augmentation. Can you do it for me?”
This follows by the doctor slapping on their forehead. Then the doctor patiently explains how PRP is a healing tool and not an implant tool.
Platelet-Rich Plasma For Breast Augmentation
How Platelet-Rich Plasma For Breast Augmentation Works
Here are two ways PRP is used for breast procedures.
- Fat Transfer & Platelet Rich Plasma For Breast Lift
Fat transfer is the process of taking unwanted body fat (liposuction procedure) from other parts of the body and processing it before injecting it to upper part of the breast and in the cleavage area. This is immediate enhancement. And since it’s immediate, the sudden expansion of the breast can cause blood vessels to be blocked causing some parts of the breasts or the nipples to lose sensitivity. Sometimes it can even cause the skin at those areas to go haywire.
So the best way to avoid that is to make sure enough collagen and growth factors are supplied, well in excess of the area’s needs. That’s why it makes sense to combine the Fat Transfer procedure with Platelet-Rich Plasma. In this combination, the doctor adds PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) derived from the patient’s own blood, to the fat when processing the fat, which includes many blood-derived growth factors and tissues containing collagen for skin rejuvenation. The end-product is then injected like a typical PRP Injection. The result is firmer breasts with not just a change in size, but also changes in skin texture and shape of the breast. And there’s no worry of losing sensitivity. Some call the entire procedure as Platelet-Rich Plasma Facelift. Results generally last from 9-18 months.
This great procedure has boosted the confidence levels of thousands of women who wanted to overcome their unnatural shaping and aging of breasts. However, even though it works for all kind of breast sizes, it’s not recommended for women with:
Extreme Loss of Volume
Previous Breast Implants
- Only Platelet Rich Plasma For Breast Rejuvenation
This second procedure is purely PRP for rejuvenation purposes. It’s for women who’re happy with their breast size but would love to rejuvenate the skin for youthful looks, restore fullness for healthy breasts and regain sensitivity in areas where it’s diminished. The procedure is same as any other Platelet-Rich Plasma procedures. It starts with drawing 20ml of patient’s blood, spinning it (twice) in a tabletop centrifuge and then injecting to necessary areas. PRP injection not only enhances the looks, it actually produces new tissues in the area because of all that growth factors resulting in better cleavage and fullness.
So if any of your beautiful, intelligent and man-loving female patients need a little help in augmentation, you can confidently recommend these two Platelet-Rich Plasma procedures for breasts. It works.
Some of us in the medical profession hold the opinion that, “if you want to enlarge your breasts, stick with the gold standard. Breast Implants performed by a board certified plastic surgeon.” Artificial implants are anything but gold standard. Natural is the new gold. Besides, to implant artificial stuff you need to cut up the breasts. And the scars that results can take time to heal. Plus, implants may need to be replaced sometime after 10 or 20 years.
“It wasn’t just her beauty. It was the attitude in her smile, the tilt of her head, and the loving look in her eyes when she caught me sneaking a peek down her shirt.”
John L. Monk, Kick
Platelet-Rich Plasma has a proven record for healing soft-tissues and other living tissues. But can it actually heal the bones itself?
This could mean PRP, when applied to an affected area whether it’s an elbow joint or knee or back bone area, actually heals everything within it’s reach including the bones. Is that really why PRP actually works?
Platelet-Rich Plasma For Bone Healing
Bones are not just lifeless matter attached to living tissues. It’s as much living as the tissues themselves. And just like the tissues, it’s constantly changing too. The old bone cells are broken down and replaced with new ones in a three-part process called bone remodeling the involves resorption (digestion of old bone cells), reversal (new cells are birthed) and formation (new cells turn into fully formed bones).
This process, just like any other biological processes in the body, requires hormones and growth factors. Some of the names include parathyroid hormone (PTH), calcitriol, insulin-like growth factors (IGFs), prostaglandins, tumor growth factor-beta (TGF-beta), bone morphogenetic proteins (BMP), and plain old cytokines. For this discussion we need to remember only one thing: a large cytokines and growth factors are involved in bone remodeling process.
Which means we accelerate the bone remodeling process by supplying these cytokines and growth factors as suggested by studies like this, this, this, this, this and this.
Why Platelet-Rich Plasma?
Autologous Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP), being completely “whole and natural” can more closely simulate a highly efficient in-vivo situation that anything else out there that are made up of artificial recombinant proteins. In PRP, we are taking advantage of the biological benefits of growth factors whose functions we know as well as those we do not know of yet. From the 15+ factors we know are in PRP including platelet derived growth factor (PDRF), transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta), platelet factor 4 (PF4), interleukin 1 (IL-1), platelet-derived angiogenesis factor (PDAF), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), epidermal growth factor (EGF), platelet-derived endothelial growth factor (PDEGF), epithelial cell growth factor (ECGF), insulin-like growth factor (IGF), osteocalcin (Oc), osteonectin (On), fibrinogen (Fg), vitronectin (Vn), fibronectin (Fn) and thrombospontin-1 (TSP-1)… we’re actually supplying a “holistic” set of nutrients for healing that cannot be mimicked by those obtained artificially.
Platelet-Rich Plasma For Bone Healing
Organic Fertilizers For The Body
The PRP difference is like adding chemical fertilizers versus organic fertilizers on plants. Chemical fertilizers are rich in essential nutrients that we know are needed for crops. On the other hand, organic fertilizers supply nutrients not only to the plants but also to the soil, improving the soil structure and tilth, water holding capacity, reduces erosion as well as promote slow and consistent release of nutrients to the plants itself.
Clearly, organic fertilizers are better, aren’t they?
Platelet-Rich Plasma are like organic fertilizers for our body.
Bonus: Strong Antimicrobial Properties
It seems that the Platelet-Rich Plasma’s healing function has synergistic function to anti-microbial properties. A new study confirms that using Platelet-Rich Plasma in surgeries may have the potential to prevent infection and to reduce the need for costly post-operative treatments.
That’s a nice bonus for the organic fertilizer of our bodies. Perhaps, there are more. So why wouldn’t anyone not take advantage of them?
The scope of Platelet-Rich Plasma is growing as the scientific community continues to unearth its inherent properties. PRP is an unignorable, and unavoidable component of healing.
To understand why stem cell platelet-rich plasma or co-transplantation of Adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells and PRP, is such a remarkable idea in regenerative medicine, let’s spend a little time looking at the mechanics of PRP.
Platelet-Rich Plasma’s Role As Repairmen
The one thing that makes Platelet-Rich Plasma a hero in several fields (if not all) of medicine is the fact that the diverse growth factors in it are able to stimulate stem cell proliferation and cell differentiation (the factors that determine effective tissue regeneration and healing) on any part of the body.
These growth factors are abundant in the blood and act as the natural repairmen of tissues.
In the perfect scenario, there’s plenty of blood flow to every part of the body and these “repairmen” are always on-call to address any healing needs that may arise. However, if the injured area has a poor blood supply — especially areas that are constantly move like tendons, ligaments and joints — demand for these repairmen can outgrow supply. Meaning, healing (or regeneration of tissues) is put on hold till further repairmen are available.
The train of Platelet-Rich Plasma then arrives with enough of these repairmen to warrant resumption of healing.
There’s another part of this picture we haven’t talked about so far: stem cells.
As far as Platelet-Rich Plasma and it’s growth factors are concerned, they are mere repairmen. They can’t do the work by themselves. They need the basic raw materials to work with. And that raw material here is the stem cells.
Stem cells are the ones actually being regenerated to form new tissues for healing.
Stem Cells As The Raw Materials For PRP
Stem cells are the only raw materials that PRP works with for regeneration. These are like the fundamental building blocks of all other cells. These cells can be can be guided into becoming specialized cells under the right conditions.
In addition, they can also divide themselves to form new stem cells or new specialized cells.
So for Platelet-Rich Plasma to work well, it needs to be applied to an area with lots of stem cells like the heart, liver, blood vessels etc. Incidentally Platelet-Rich Plasma’s healing properties were first discovered by cardiac surgeons who played with concentrated blood for faster healing of heart after surgery and it showed tremendous promise because stem cells are abundant in heart tissues.
But what if healing is needed in an area where there are not much stem cells?
With the new developments in stem cell technology that can be solved too. Because now we can supply the stem cells to areas where there are less like the joints, ligaments and tendons. For this, scientists usually use “mesenchymal stem cell” or MSCs. These are cells isolated from stroma and can differentiate to form adipocytes, cartilage, bone, tendons, muscle, and skin.
The most easiest way is to harvest it from adipose tissue or fat that we call Adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells or ADSC.
Stem Cell Platelet-Rich Plasma
Supplying Both PRP And Stem Cells For Regeneration
In regions with hypoxia (poor blood supply) like joints, meniscus tissue, rotator cuff, spinal discs etc the supply of platelets (and therefore growth factors) as well as the stem cells are limited. So what if we supplied both the stem cells and Platelet-Rich Plasma for triggering the regeneration process?
That’s the question these Japanese scientists answered in their research. Here’s another group of scientists who took on the same challenge.
They used Adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells (ADSC) which is known for their ease of isolation and extensive differentiation potential. These researchers noted that these stem cells often can’t survive in areas of local hypoxia, oxidative stress and inflammation – thereby making them ineffective. However, when Platelet-Rich Plasma (or thrombin-activated PRP) is added to ADSC, it kept them alive for prolonged periods and the growth factors in the Platelet-Rich Plasma triggered cell differentiation and proliferation more easily.
Why This Exact Combination Is The Future
Done this way, both Adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells (ADSC) and Platelet-Rich Plasma are raw materials for healing that’s already available in plenty in almost every one (there are exceptions of course). That means, for complete healing to take place this combination treatment, still in it’s very primitive stage of development, may have the potential to replace expensive synthetic drugs that carry complex unexplained side effects. The procedure takes our body’s natural healing agents — stem cells from body fat and PRP from blood — and then inject it inside knee or other joints (or other areas where they are insufficient) for regeneration.
Isn’t that like the most wonderful thing ever?
Whether it’s cartilage cell, or a bone cell, or a collagen cell for ligaments and tendons that needs to be healed, all you need is a same-day procedure by a local, but specialized doctor, using the natural ingredients of the body.
I believe this special combo is a huge win for Platelet-Rich Plasma.
The Challenges For Growing Adoption Of This Treatment
We know Platelet-Rich Plasma has safe, yet high-speed recovery potential with it’s multiple growth factors. And it is effective in regenerative healing of cartilage injuries – the most toughest injuries to heal – as well as Osteoarthritis. However the challenges are Platelet Quality. We need to somehow ensure the Platelet-Rich Plasma quality is uniform. Currently it varies from two to several fold above baseline concentration based on donor’s physical condition.
Next we need to identify the exact PRP growth factors that promote ADSC proliferation. Scientists believe growth factors such as basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF), epidermal growth factor, and platelet-derived growth factor stimulate stem cell proliferation while some growth factors under certain conditions are known to inhibit the process.
The percentage of PRP matters too. 5 percent, 10 percent, 15 percent and 20 percent Platelet-Rich Plasma in ADSC are tested by scientists.
The Only Treatment In Modern Medicine For Cartilage Regeneration
The bottom line is that Stem Cell Platelet-Rich Plasma or ADSC + PRP procedure is the only treatment in modern medicine that has showed cartilage regeneration. So it’s too important to ignore. And it could one of greatest advances that science has brought to the millions of people suffering from serious pain in their joints, knee and spine as well people suffering from all kinds of tendon diseases and injuries.
The time it takes to draw a patient’s blood, add a little citrate, and use a centrifugal machine with a PRP kit is only 15-20 minutes. This is the amount of time needed to create Platelet-Rich Plasma, or PRP. This can then be used for many purposes, using speeding up a patients recovery.
PRP is by far the best healing agent that has growth factors and platelets to help with the healing process, which is also completely free and natural to obtain.
What are The Advantages Of Using PRP Correctly?
It is easy to create PRP simpy by placing blood in a centrifuge, but it can have very little, if any, platelets, and would otherwise be useless. However, with the right equipment, you can make PRP with up to 7x the amount of platelets. This can be amplified by using fat tissue and collagen fibers to create a PRP matrix.
7 Popular PRP Treatments
- Facial Treatments
Many skin centers are thriving due to being one of the first to adopt PRP therapies. With the lack of side effects or down time, it became incredibly popular. These treatments include wrinkle reduction, skin rejuvenation, dark circle and bag erasure, rosacea treatment, and even lip augmentation.
One popular and generic treatment option includes combining PRP and a treatment known as microneedling. When this is applied, it’s effects are similar to facelifts, for far less cost and side effects.
- Hair Loss
PRP growth factors can be beneficial when it comes to reversing non-genetic early stage hair loss. Despite there being a huge market for this, almost no practitioners actually utilize it. Many clients have seen promise after hair thinning, and many have seen beard regrowth over time.
- Arthritis and Cartilage
Arthritis treatments alone cost patients 6.4 billion dollars in 2013 for the US alone, with projections of up to 9 billion by the end of the decade. However, unlike the other treatments, PRP is seen as the only treatment that can not just reduce symptoms, but also regrow the cartilage. One of the most popular examples would be treatments for Temporomandibulaar Joint Osteoarthritis.
- Anti-aging Properties
When it comes to the anti-aging market, there are a endless number of treatments and procures available. Yet, none of them even stand close to the effectiveness of PRP therapy. PRP combined with Microneedling can ve highly effective for strech marks, acne scars, breast augmentation, and even skin conditions like Lichen Sclerosus.
- Pain Relief and Musculoskeletal Healing
There are a ton of treatments in this category, with many of them being incredibly more effective than leading treatments. These include healing Rotator Cuffs, Tennis Elbow, Achilles Tendonitis, Patellar Tendonitis, Back Pain, Hip and Pelvic problems, Degenerative Disc Disease, Golfer’s Elbow, Labaral Tear, Brusitis, neck pain, avascular Necrosis, and even pain related to nerve regeneration.
Almost all of these treatment, as opposed to those in other categories on this list, also use ultrasound guidance when injecting the PRP directly into the affected tissue. This can allow patients to see fantastic results in as little as 2 weeks.
Ovarian Rejuvination is where PRP is injected directly into a woman’s ovaries. This is meant to help reverse menopause and help lower fertility issues. This treatment can even be used for sexual regeneration. Although similar, this treatment is not the same as other treatments where PRO is injected into the vagina, and is supposed to treat looseness, dryness, low sex drive, and incontinence.
- COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)
Allergies, asthma, and COPD are among the growing list of things that PRP is being used as a treatment for. For this to work, the PRP is mixed with a saline solution, and then, using a nebulizer, is inhaled, and helps to regenerate the lung tissue.
Although it can take up to 2 months for patients to see the effects, many are seeing improvements. Almost 1 million people suffer from COPD a year, so anything that can help treat the condition is beneficial.
PRP has been trending rather well in the recent years, and seems to be here for the long term. Not only it is a fully natural remedy, but it is one that works better than most or all traditional treatments. Many like it due to the fact that there are few side effects, it only takes a short amount of time, and there is no recovery period.
PRP has been adopted by thousands of clinics and practices throughout the US and the world. The demand for these treatments have been increasing almost faster than practices are choosing to provide them. Many patients are even willing to travel long distances just to receive these treatments.
So are you providing PRP treatments yet?
According to many physicians, PRP (Platelet-Rich Plasma) has been a lifesaver for their practice, while others claimed that it helped them become passionate about medicine again. This is because not only is it 100% from the body of the patient themselves, but it is also natural and comes with pretty much no side effects. It can also be used to treat a plethora of medical ailments, to the point where no other treatment options come close.
Although the above are all fantastic and solid reasons for offering PRP therapies, there are also a couple other reasons as well.
For instance, it is extremely simple compared to other treatment options. For about 1000$ as an initial investment, you can get started with offering PRP. The equipment is relatively cheap, and it pays for itself over a relatively short amount of time.
It also is not just a passing trend, as it has been going popular for a long time and shows no signs of slowing down. The market for PRP therapies is expected to reach almost 500 million dollars within the next 10 years, or an annual growth rate of 12.5% since 2015.
Patient satisfaction is another reason. In certain situations, the satisfaction rate for patients have been as high as 95%. This shocks many of the patients, who believe, although justifiably, that they cannot reverse or halt their condition without side effects, down time, and invasive surgeries.
The time for you to start including PRP into your practice is now, while the supply is low but the demand is booming. There is still a lot more promise when it comes to PRP as well, including combining PRP with other treatments to increase efficacy. Since no standard has yet to be established, you may be starting these standards yourself.
It is vital that we get more doctors to utilize PRP therapy so that they can be a pioneer in this field. PRP can turn medicine on its head, and missing out should not be a smart option.
The best part about it, is that PRP can be utilized in almost every field and specialty, from sports medicine, to pain management, skin rejuvenation, hair care, and even urology. Most of the physicians who utilize this treatment also saw higher patient retention rates as well.
So is there a legitimate reason to not add PRP to your practice?
Despite being rather simple, PRP extraction has been shrouded with debate on the reliability of the methods for the past decade. We are going to help clear up the debate by providing information on choosing the best PRP kit.
Using a kit is in itself vital to the creation of PRP. While it is possible to draw blood into a test tube and put it through a centrifuge and claim it is PRP, it’s otherwise ineffective. This is what is known as “bloody PRP,” and it might hold 1.5x the amount of blood platelets if you’re lucky, but it will also contain a ton of red and white blood cells. Because of this, this ineffective form of PRP can potentially cause flare ups after injection.
However, if you use a kit, that concentration of platelets can be as high as 5-7 times the baseline.
What Makes A PRP Kit Good?
This concentration of 5-7 times is vital for PRP to work, and kits allow you to choose whether or not you want to keep in the red and white blood cells, or whether you don’t. Each one would work on different ailments. However, some commercial kits may not deliver what you may want in your PRP, so it is good to know the difference between the kits.
- Gel Separators
Gel separators is pretty much just a test tube with some gel on the bottom. This gel is able to separate the blood from the platelets due to osmosis. The main issue is that when the test tube goes through the centrifuge, most of the platelets will also be caught by the gel as well. This will wind up with 1.5 times concentration of platelets at most, but it does take out the white and red blood cells as well, so that’s a plus.
- Buffy Coat
The kits that allow you to see a buffy coat are most likely to give you concentrations of 5-7 times. A buffy coat is a thin layer that is formed between the blood and the plasma after being in a centrifuge. This is mainly just platelets and white blood cells, with plasma on top, and packed blood underneath.
After this, you have to be able to separate the bufy coat from the red blood cells without contamination. This will help you to get PRP with less than 10% red blood cells.
- Buffy Coat with a Double Spin
The third and final type utilize a buffy coat which is devoid of red blood cells. This is the best kit on the market, because what you do is after separating the PRP from the red blood cells, you spin it again to further get rid of the red blood cells and to concentrate the platelets even more. After this, all that is needed to do is to separate the buffy coat, and this is PRP.
The Biosafe Kit
Although there are many kits that create PRP, the Biosafe kit has to be the best on the market. This is because it give you full control over the end product. Using this machine, you wind up with 10cc of usable product, which you can then double spin for that 5-7 times concentration. You can also choose whether or not you want some red blood cells in the finished product as well.
What is Leukocyte-poor PRP?
Leukocytes are otherwise known as White Blood Cells, and some researchers believe that they can be detrimental to PRP therapy. While there is no consensus as of yet, it is believed by many that these blood cells may trigger an inflammatory response, and even prevent growth factors from creating new cells.
However, some researchers believe that white blood cells are vital to a beneficial response. They believe that without these cells, you will be left with a lot of scar tissue at the site of healing. This Leukocyte-rich PRP also tends to have much more growth factors as well.
If you want to try leukocyte-poor PRP, you will need a Leukocyte Reduction filter, also known as an LR filter. These filters use electrostatic attraction to separate the white blood cells from the rest of the PRP. Although some filters can get clogged, a CIF-LR filter will be able to prevent that and filter out 99.99% of white blood cells.
There Is Plenty Of Evidence To Back This Up
Many people are highly skeptical about PRP, and are willing to ignore it without tons of randomized double-blind studies. Ignoring that some of the things that they do in their practice is also not proven in this manner. Many refuse to even look at the evidence, including the long line of evidence since the 1970’s, ranging over 6000 scientific studies.
The best evidence is how much clients will pay for this despite not being covered by insurance. This shows without any doubt that something about this treatment must be working. As long as there are clients, Adimarket will be there to provide the equipment for practices.
Although the clinical demand for bioengineered blood vessels continues to rise, current options for vascular conduits remain limited. The synergistic combination of emerging advances in tissue fabrication and stem cell engineering promises new strategies for engineering autologous blood vessels that recapitulate not only the mechanical properties of native vessels but also their biological function. Here we explore recent bioengineering advances in creating functional blood macro and microvessels, particularly featuring stem cells as a seed source. We also highlight progress in integrating engineered vascular tissues with the host after implantation as well as the exciting pre-clinical and clinical applications of this technology.
Ischemic diseases, such as atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (CVD), remain one of the leading causes of mortality and morbidity across the world (GBD 2015 Mortality and Causes of Death Collaborators, 2016, Mozaffarian et al., 2016). These diseases have resulted in an ever-persistent demand for vascular conduits to reconstruct or bypass vascular occlusions and aneurysms. Synthetic grafts for replacing occluded arterial vessels were first introduced in the 1950s following surgical complications associated with harvesting vessels, the frequent shortage of allogeneic grafts, and immunologic rejection of large animal-derived vessels. However, despite advances in pharmacology, materials science, and device fabrication, these synthetic vascular grafts have not significantly decreased the overall mortality and morbidity (Nugent and Edelman, 2003, Prabhakaran et al., 2017). Synthetic grafts continue to exhibit a number of shortcomings that have limited their impact. These shortcomings include low patency rates for small diameter vessels (< 6 mm in diameter), a lack of growth potential for the pediatric population necessitating repeated interventions, and the susceptibility to infection. In addition to grafting, vascular conduits are also needed for clinical situations such as hemodialysis, which involves large volumes of blood that must be withdrawn and circulated back into a patient several times a week for several hours.
In addition to large-scale vessel complications, ischemic diseases also arise at the microvasculature level (< 1 mm in diameter), where replacing upstream arteries would not address the reperfusion needs of downstream tissues (Hausenloy and Yellon, 2013, Krug et al., 1966). Microvascularization has proven to be a critical step during regeneration and wound healing, where the delay of wound perfusion (in diabetic patients, for example) significantly slows down the formation of the granulation tissue and can lead to severe infection and ulceration (Baltzis et al., 2014, Brem and Tomic-Canic, 2007, Randeria et al., 2015).
In order to design advanced grafts, it is important to take structural components of a blood vessel into consideration, as understanding these elements is required for rational biomaterial design and choosing an appropriate cell source. Many of the different blood vessel beds also share some common structural features. Arteries, veins, and capillaries have a tunica intima comprised of endothelial cells (EC), which regulate coagulation, confer selective permeability, and participate in immune cell trafficking (Herbert and Stainier, 2011, Potente et al., 2011). Arteries and veins are further bound by a second layer, the tunica media, which is composed of smooth muscle cells (SMC), collagen, elastin, and proteoglycans, conferring strength to the vessel and acting as effectors of vascular tone. Arterioles and venules, which are smaller caliber equivalents of arteries and veins, are comprised of only a few layers of SMCs, while capillaries, which are the smallest vessels in size, have pericytes abutting the single layer of ECs and basement membrane. Vascular tissue engineering has evolved to generate constructs that incorporate the functionality of these structural layers, withstand physiologic stresses inherent to the cardiovascular system, and promote integration in host tissue without mounting immunologic rejection (Chang and Niklason, 2017).
A suitable cell source is also critical to help impart structural stability and facilitate in vivo integration. Patient-derived autologous cells are one potential cell source that has garnered interest because of their potential to minimize graft rejection. However, isolating and expanding viable primary cells to a therapeutically relevant scale may be limited given that patients with advanced arterial disease likely have cells with reduced growth or regenerative potential. With the advancement of stem cell (SC) technology and gene editing tools such as CRISPR, autologous adult and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) are emerging as promising alternative sources of ECs and perivascular SMCs that can be incorporated into the engineered vasculature (Chan et al., 2017, Wang et al., 2017).
Importantly, a viable cell source alone is not sufficient for therapeutic efficacy. Although vascular cells can contribute paracrine factors and have regenerative capacity, merely delivering a dispersed mixture of ECs to the host tissue has shown limited success at forming vasculature or integrating with the host vasculature (Chen et al., 2010). Therefore, recent tissue engineering efforts have instead focused on recreating the architecture and the function of the vasculature in vitro before implantation, with the hypothesis that pre-vascularized grafts and tissues enhance integration with the host. In this review, we explore recent advances in fabricating blood vessels of various calibers, from individual arterial vessels to vascular beds comprised of microvessels, and how these efforts facilitate the integration of the implanted vasculature within a host. We also discuss the extent to which SC-derived ECs and SMCs have been incorporated into these engineered tissues.
The first reported successful clinical application of TEBV in patients was performed by Shin’oka et al., who implanted a biodegradable construct as a pulmonary conduit in a child with pulmonary atresia and single ventricle anatomy (Shin’oka et al., 2001). The construct was composed of a synthetic polymer mixture of L-lactide and e-caprolactone, and it was reinforced with PGA and seeded with autologous bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (BM-MSCs). The authors demonstrated patency and patient survival 7 months post-implant, and expanded their study to a series of 23 implanted TEBVs and 19 tissue patch repairs in pediatric patients (Hibino et al., 2010). They were noted to have no graft-related mortality, and four patients required interventions to relieve stenosis at a mean follow-up of 5.8 years. The first sheet-based technology to seed cultured autologous cells, developed by L’Heureux et al., was iterated by the group to induce cultured fibroblast cell sheet over a 10-week maturation period and produce tubules of endogenous ECM over a production time ranging between 6 and 9 months. They dehydrated and provided a living adventitial layer before seeding the constructs with ECs (L’Heureux et al., 2006). Their TEBV, named the Lifeline graft, was implanted in 9 of 10 enrolled patients with end-stage renal disease on hemodialysis and failing access grafts in a clinical trial. Six of the nine surviving patients had patent grafts at 6 months, while the remaining grafts failed due to thrombosis, rejection, and failure (McAllister et al., 2009). An attempt to create an “off the shelf” version of this graft in which pre-fabricated, frozen scaffolds were seeded with autologous endothelium prior to implantation led to 2 of the 3 implanted grafts failing due to stenosis, and one patient passed away due to graft infection (Benrashid et al., 2016).
Most recently, results were reported for the phase II trial of the decellularized engineered vessel Humacyte in end-stage renal disease patients surgically unsuitable for arterio-venous fistula creation (Lawson et al., 2016). This clinical scenario offers a relatively captive patient population in which graft complications are unlikely to be limb or life-threatening, and infectious and thrombotic event rates for traditional materials such as ePTFE are high (Haskal et al., 2010). The manufacturers seeded a 6mm PGA scaffold with SMCs from deceased organ and tissue donors and decellularized the scaffold following ECM production in an incubator coupled with a pulsatile pump prior to implantation. Humacyte demonstrated 63% primary patency at 6 months, 28% at 12 months, and 18% at 18 months post-implant in 60 patients. Ten grafts were abandoned. However, 12-month patency and mean procedure rate of 1.89 per patient-year to restore patency were comparable to PTFE grafts, while higher secondary patency rates were observed (89% versus 55%–65% at 1 year) (Huber et al., 2003, Lok et al., 2013). Although Humacyte revealed no immune sensitization and a lower infection rate than PTFEs (reported up to 12%) (Akoh and Patel, 2010), there remains much work to be done to improve primary patency and reduce the need for interventions.
Harnessing the regenerative functions reported in ECs derived from adult stem cells and iPSCs offers the promise of improving TEBV patency. Mcllhenny et al. generated ECs from adipose-derived stromal cells, transfected them with adenoviral vector carrying the endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) gene, and seeded the ECs onto decellularized human saphenous vein scaffolds (McIlhenny et al., 2015). They hypothesized that through inhibition of platelet aggregation and adhesion molecule expression, nitric oxide synthesis would prevent thrombotic occlusion in TEBV. Indeed, they reported patency with a non-thrombogenic surface 2 months post-implantation in rabbit aortas. While introducing additional complexities, engineering ECs and SMCs with other regenerative, anti-inflammatory, anti-thrombotic genes could perhaps bridge the functional difference between SC-derived cells and native primary cells.
Thousands of skincare centers across the nation provide at the very least one kind of PRP treatment. However, most do not go any farther than micro-needling with a topical solution. This is mainly because it is far simpler than all other methods, and it is incredibly popular. However, it would make more sense to many practices who have invested in equipment for add in PRP injections as well.
PRP Is Growing Substantially
Regardless of what is being treated, the protocol for obtaining PRP is the same: You draw the blood, place it in the centrifuge, and then take out the PRP from the rest of the material. This simplicity can be combined with PRP’s vast usability to create significant and mindblowing advances in modern medicine.
This includes skincare as well, as the PRP that you get from patients can be used in a plethora of ways. Here are a couple of examples of what can be performed by dermatologists and plastic surgeons the world over.
- Skin Augmentation
Adding a topical solution of PRP ccombined with microneedling can help to regenerate dying skin cells, and makes skin feel soft. Although this will probably work for most clients, many might want more. For instance, if you want to plump up the face, injecting PRPinto the dermis can help provide both beauty, as well as a healing process.
Although if you want to create volume, you will need a filler. One way to do this is by using a Platelet-Poor Plasma filler, or PPP, which is often left over from the PRP process. You can also use Hyaluronic Adic. A combination of these with PRP have been known to provide wonderful results, with some clinicians boasting a 100% success rate.
- Vitiligo Correction
Many companies will shill out millions of dollars to find out how to turn defective cells healthy again. Many are looking into DNA Technology. However, simply utilizing PRPP may provide the same results. Some studies have shown that adding CO2 laser therapy for correcting vitiligo to a PRP treatment can increase it’s effectiveness by 4 times. This can also be beneficial in other areas, such as correcting wrinkles, and even acne scars. So combining PRP treatments are conventional therapies can boost the effects tremendously.
So if PRP can help boost the effects of lasers, it may be able to also boost the effects of other skin therapies as well. It seems like a great opportunity to continue doing the work that you do, but this time it is more effective due to a simple method. This is something that hundreds of skin care facilities are already providing for their clients.
- Hair Rejuvenation
Mesotherapy is a common treatment that utilizes microinjections that deliver a medication throughout the skin’s service. This prodecure has been able to provide great quality results by adding peptides and vitamins to the mix as well. However, one of the best ways that you can incorporate this into your practice is by using PRP therapy.
Mesotherapy can also be used to provide an even amount of PRP all over the body, including face, neck, hands, etc. This helps to rejuvenate the skin and reduce wrinkles, discoloration, and stretch marks. However, this works best when it comes to hair loss treatments. In fact, adding PRP with mesotherapy has exceeding the expectations that the industry has set.
This is why we think PRP therapy is something that every skincare clinic should offer. Since hair loss effects both men and women, it is important to try to work to make your treatments as effective as possible. Your patients will benefit from it and satisfaction will rise, is there any other reason to put it off?
“But I Never Heard Of Them!”
Some of these treatments and combinations are incredibly new, so new, that many might not have heard of them before. However, this is why signing up to use them as soon as possible is vital. This way, you can bee a step ahead of the competition when it comes to providing great services.
The demand for PRP is only growing over time, and the sooner you can get on board, the better off your practice will be. If you are interested in learning more about PRP therapy, or checking out our line of PRP equipment, you can do so by going to the Adimarket website and checking it out for yourself.
PRP provides more effective treatments for less time, less money, and more satisfaction. Tons off practices have been putting their trust in this treatment and have been reaping the benefits long term. PRP is here to stay, so are you ready to seize the potential of this great medical revolution?,
PRP is a powerful means of regenerating tissues, and has pretty a pretty large growth in popularity among patients, especially those who suffer from alopecia. This is despite the apparently lack of evidence that supposedly surrounds the treatment.
Is It A Lack Of Evidence Or Just A Lack Of Funding?The lack of widespread research may have more to do with funding than anything else. Many of the studies that are currently out there about PRP were unfunded, especially on the subject of Hair Regeneration. However, despite this lack of funding, the demand for PRP treatments for hair loss is growing at an unprecedented rate.
When it comes to PRP kits, there are three kinds to choose from. Ones that use gels, one that create a buffy coat, and one that creates a buffy coat utilizing a double spin. It is pretty unanimous that the last option creates the most reliable and concentrated form of PRP possible, at 5-7 times the baseline amount of platelets.
This concentration level also has the most nutrients which helps for the regeneration of blood vessels and stem cells. One commonly recommended tactic is to combine PRP hair regeneration with micro-needling with a topical layer of PRP. This may be beneficial in some cases.
Micro-needling is a way to create small amounts of trauma, which the body reacts to via a healing response. This response, mixed with PRP, can help to stimulate the growth of new cells.
In some instances, a dermatologist might have three sessions, with the first two being PRP injections, and the middle one being a micro-needling with a PRP topical solution. However, micro-needling is completely optional. Whether you choose to use this method or not, you will still be injecting the patient with PRP at the scalp.
Combining PRP with an Allograft Matrix
One thing that many hair regeneration experts do is combine PRP with an Allograft matrix. These are often used when healing wounds, as it changes inactive adult stem cells back into an active form. This makes the wounds heal faster.
This is because an allograft acts like a scaffold that proliferates cell regrowth and speeds up the healing process. Many experts in the fields have noted a high degree of success by using this method.
Allografts are generally made from using the bladder tissue of pigs. However, a better type of allograft is made from amniotic tissues and fluid. This type of allograft can be utilized with little or no chance of being rejected by the body, as opposed to those made from pig bladders.
Medications Vs PRP
The main drugs that are commonly used to regrow hair are Minoxidil and Finasteride. These were designed to be able to prevent male pattern hair loss, but did almost nothing when it came to regrowing lost hair. However, these drugs have been well known to only be temporary solutions, and if the patients stopped taking the drugs, the benefits of them would quickly reverse. These are also not 100% effective at stopping hair loss either, but it can slow the progression.
However, PRP is different. It may actually be the only treatment on the market that has been clinically proven to regrow hair and heal hair follicles. This means that it only only slows down hair loss, but actually helps with hair growth.
Many may ask how temporary the solution is, saying that the other drugs on the market are just temporary solutions. However, many pateints report that a PRP and allograft combination treatment was able to give them great results that lasted for nearly half a decade or more with just one treatment. However, each patient is indeed different.
Aside from drugs, we only had one other choice when it came to hair loss, and that was hair transplants. This is why PRP has been growing in popularity in hair regrowth groups lately. Although those other treatments are not obsolete in the slightest, adding PRP therapy can be both beneficial and safe to patients in the long run.
Some people combine the two, and use PRP alongside Minoxidil and Finasteride with little to no side effects seen to date. You can even combine PRP with laser light scalp stimulation therapy, but that is up to you.
So Try It Out
PRP for hair regeneration, skin rejuvination, and even facelifts is going strong with no sign of stopping. Many dermatologists have already taken the plunge, and since this treatment is not going anywhere anytime soon, it may behoove you to join in on it too.
For more information about PRP including equipment, check out the Adimarket website. We provide great tools for any practice to utilize.