Platelet Rich Plasma is a concentrated fraction of autologous peripheral blood with a higher number of platelets and other growth factors. The orthobiologics of the modern healthcare sector are adorned with this emerging science for faster recovery. The discipline is developed with the intent to enhance the body’s ability of healing and regenerate by providing a cocktail of cytokines and growth factors at the site of injury. Platelet-rich plasma therapy has lately attracted a lot of focus from both the scientific as well as the clinical community for being safe, non-invasive, biological treatment with better results. Having said that it is very imperative to understand that what is the communication channel inside our body that is triggered by the administration of PRP and is the clinical relevance as postulated?

Clinical Relevance: The Need

There has been an enormous impact of musculoskeletal disorders worldwide. As per the recent reports submitted by the World Health Organization, almost 100 million people are presently affected with some kind of musculoskeletal issue, experiencing either long-term pain and/or physical disability. Out of all musculoskeletal injuries, mostly i.e. almost 55% are soft tissue injuries, such as ligament tear, tendon damage, etc. leading to functional footfall. Many patients suffering from such issues have to go under the knife for relief and withdraw from their favorite sports forever; leaving them into lifelong mental trauma. Interestingly, with such scientific as well as technological advancements; the industry is facing a dearth of an effective treatment regime that could effectively recover from such kinds of issues at a faster rate, without much hassle. In this setting, pre-clinical and pilot interventions suggesting promising outcomes and faster results through platelet-rich plasma treatments for osteoarthritis interventions have attracted more clinical interests.

What is the physiology and function of platelets?

The analysis confirmed that a typical blood specimen constitutes almost 6% platelets, 1% white blood cells, and the rest of all red blood cells. Platelets were first reported by French Scientist Alfred Donne in the year 1842; in the form of small spherical cells with a limited period. Their role was studied further to understand how these platelets are important to trigger a cascade of signaling pathways for better cellular communication, after injury; with an intent to start a process of healing. With a lot of accumulation of data from the past research, it has been very clear that platelets are responsible for healing, the construction of new connective tissues for better recovery, and tissue revascularization. Although, the process looks very simple at the first instant; it is accomplished with several communication channels, involving several growth factors and immune cells to achieve the desired outcome. The primary ideology behind PRP is to reverse the red blood cell content of the final concentrate from 93% to 5% and increase platelet concentration from 5% to almost 90% for a faster outcome.

Growth factors present in PRP with their functional attributes

Some of the notable growth factors present in PRP are transforming growth factor-beta, platelet-derived growth factor, insulin-like growth factor, vascular endothelial growth factor, fibroblast-like growth factor, epidermal growth factor, etc. These growth factors are anti-inflammatory and pro-inflammatory cytokines that are destined to repair and regenerate tissue post-injury. These cells also have an open number of communication pathways to report local mesenchymal stem cells and endothelial cells about the injury; asking them to migrate further at the site of injury to initiate a process of regeneration and revascularization.

Thus, PRP when administered with stem cells can work wonders for sports injury and other musculoskeletal disorders. Connect with Kosheeka for more updates.

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