Injectable platelet rich fibrin: cell content, morphological, and protein characterization

Original Article

First Online: 12 July 2018



The aim of the present study was to evaluate the blood cell content, morphological aspects, gene expression of type I collagen, and release of growth factors on an injectable platelet rich fibrin (i-PRF).

Materials and methods

Blood samples were collected from 15 volunteers to prepare i-PRF samples. Peripheral blood was used as a control group. Blood clot and i-PRF samples were cultured for 10 days. The supernatant of the samples was collected for ELISA immunoassay quantification of PDGF and VEGF growth factors over periods of 1, 8, 24, 72, and 240 h. I-PRF and blood clot samples were biologically characterized using histological and immunohistochemistry analysis for IL-10, osteocalcin, and TGF-β. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) was used to inspect the fibrin network and distribution of blood platelets and leukocytes. Reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) method was used to evaluate gene expression for type I collagen.


A higher concentration of platelets and lymphocytes was recorded in i-PRF than in peripheral blood (p < 0.05). The release of VEGF was higher in blood clot samples (1933 ± 704) than that for i-PRF (852 ± 376; p < 0.001). Immunohistochemistry showed upregulation of TGF-B, IL-10, and osteocalcin in the i-PRF group. RT-PCR showed increased type I collagen gene expression in i-PRF (p < 0.05). SEM images revealed agglomeration of platelets in some regions, while a fibrin networking was noticeable in the entire i-PRF sample.


Injectable platelet rich fibrin becomes a good approach for soft and mineralized tissue healing considering the formation of a three-dimensional fibrin network embedding platelets, leukocytes, type I collagen, osteocalcin, and growth factors. Indeed, the injectable platelet rich fibrin can be indicated in several medical applications regarding bioactivity, simplied technique, and flowable mixing with other biomaterials.

Clinical relevance

Morphological, cell, and protein characterization of platelet rich fibrin provides a better understanding of the clinical effects and improvement of clinical guidelines for several medical applications. Once well physicochemical and biologically characterized, the use of an injectable platelet rich fibrin can be extended to other applications in the field of orthopedics, periodontics, and implant dentistry on the repairing process of both soft and mineralized tissues.
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