Research in Engineering and Aviation

The incorporation and controlled release of platelet-rich plasma-derived biomolecules from polymeric tissue engineering scaffolds

September 2012

Author(s): Sell, S.A., Ericksen, J.J. and G.L. Bowlin

Journal: Polymer International. 61(12), pp. 1703-1709, 2012. DOI: 10.1002/pi.4372 


Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) has been gaining popularity in recent years as a cost-effective material capable of stimulating healing in a number of different clinical applications. As the clinical role of PRP has been growing so too has its prevalence in the fields of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, particularly in the field of extracellular matrix (ECM) analogue scaffold fabrication. As polymeric scaffold fabrication techniques strive to create structures that ever more closely replicate the native ECM’s form and function, the need for increased scaffold bioactivity becomes more pronounced. PRP, which has been shown to contain over 300 bioactive molecules, has the potential to deliver a combination of growth factors and cytokines capable of stimulating cellular activity through enhanced chemotaxis, proliferation and ECM production. The ability to incorporate such a potent bioactive milieu into a polymeric tissue engineering scaffold, which lacks intrinsic cell signaling molecules, may help to promote scaffold integration with native tissues and increase the overall patency of polymeric ECM analogue structures. This mini-review briefly discusses the physiological basis of PRP and its current clinical use, as well as the potential role that PRP may play in the future of polymeric tissue engineering scaffold design.