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GROWTH FACTORS – PRP

Growth factors (GFs) therapy is an innovative novel treatment that promotes healing in several musculoskeletal conditions. GFs are contained in Platelets α-granules along with other important bioactive proteins responsible for attracting macrophages, mesenchymal stem cells, and osteoblasts which not only promotes removal of necrotic tissue, but also enhances tissue regeneration and healing.

Platelet-rich Plasma (PRP) is blood plasma with concentrated platelets. The rationale for the use of PRP is to stimulate the natural healing cascade and tissue regeneration by a “supraphysiologic” release of platelet-derived factors directly at the site of treatment. There is a variety of GFs in PRP preparations, including transforming GFs, platelet-derived GFs, hepatocyte GFs, basic fibroblast GFs, epidermal GF, vascular endothelial GFs, and insulin-like GF. The elucidation of some of the functions of GFs in tissue repair has led to the conclusion that their controlled temporal expression could be important following surgical interventions and in the treatment of musculoskeletal disorders, including bone fractures, cartilage defects, and muscle and tendon lesions.

Recent studies have documented the effectiveness of PRP preparations in several orthopaedic problems, by controlling the synthesis and degradation of extracellular matrix proteins. The secreted factors regulate key processes in tissue repair, including cell proliferation, chemotaxis, migration, cellular differentiation, and extracellular matrix synthesis. GFs mediate the biological processes necessary for repair of soft tissues, such as muscle, tendon and ligament, following acute traumatic or overuse injury. Their mode of action is to bind to the extracellular domain of a target GF receptor, which in turn activates the intracellular signal transduction pathways. They have been proven also useful in chondrogenesis and prevention of joint degeneration.