HISTORY OF PRP
PRP was initially developed in the 1970s and first used in an open-heart surgery procedure in 1987. Since then, doctors have used platelet-rich plasma therapy beginning in the mid-1990s to aid bone healing after spinal injury and soft tissue recovery following plastic surgery.
Recently, platelet-rich plasma gained press attention as a treatment for sports-related injuries when two Pittsburgh Steelers, Hines Ward, and Troy Polamalu used it before winning the Super Bowl.
Other nobleathletes who have been treated with platelet-rich plasma therapies are Tiger Woods, Olympic gold medalist Donovan Bailey, Alex Rodriguez, Tracey McGrady, Chris Canty, Cliff Lee and Fred Couples.
In1999, platelet-rich plasma was discovered, or invented, by different companies. The first doctors to get on board with platelet-rich plasma were oral surgeons and plastic surgeons after they observed better healing outcomes in their patients.
A doctor named Allan Mishra in Paolo Alto used PRP with some of the Stanford football players and was able to get them back to playing more quickly post-surgery. Later, Dr. Mishra studied the effectiveness of PRP treatment on tennis elbow, a severe form of tendonitis to treat. The results were that he was able to get 90 percent healing at approximately six months’ time, and these people had had the injuries for over 20 months before PRP therapy. That was in 2004. Since then, it’s been making its way into the medical mainstream. Today, many insurances cover it and it is quickly becoming a best practice in many medical procedures. Many more patients are demanding it as a first option before they consider any surgery.
WHY PRP THERAPY
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is a high concentration of platelet-rich plasma protein, obtained from a patient's withdrawn blood. The whole blood is spun at high speed to separate it into distinct layers. One of which is the PRP which contains a high concentration of growth factors that encourage a rapid healing response of various tissue types.
The high concentration of platelets jump-starts the body’s self-healing and spreads growth factors to areas otherwise untouched by blood (like ligaments, tendons, and joints). Because PRP therapy uses the patient's own blood, there’s little risk of rejection and dangers posed by bloodborne infections are virtually eliminated.
WHAT CAN I USE PRP FOR?
PRP can be injected or applied to an injured area. For example, in Achilles tendonitis, a condition commonly seen in runners and tennis players, the heel cord becomes swollen, inflamed, and painful. A mixture of PRP and local anesthetic can be injected directly into this inflamed tissue triggering an accelerated healing response to repair the damaged tissue in this area.
PRP may also be used to improve healing after surgery for some injuries. For example, an athlete with a completely torn heel cord may require surgery to repair the tendon. Healing of the torn tendon may be improved by treating the injured area with PRP during surgery. This is done by preparing the PRP in a way that allows it to be stitched into torn tissues.
WHAT ARE PLATELETS
Platelets, also known as thrombocytes are small irregularly shaped clear cell fragments that stimulate cellular growth. German anatomist Max Schultze first described platelets in the mid-1800s. Platelets are formed by fragmentation of megakaryocytes in bone marrow and function in helping the body form blood clots. The lifespan of platelets is usually between 8 to 12 days.
WHY ARE PLATELETS IMPORTANT?
If one of your blood vessels gets damaged, it sends out signals that are picked up by platelets. The platelets then rush to the site of damage and form a plug, or clot, to repair the damage.The process of spreading across the surface of a damaged blood vessel to stop bleeding is called adhesion—when platelets get to the site of the injury, they grow sticky tentacles that help them adhere. They also send out chemical signals to attract more platelets to pile onto the clot in a process called aggregation.
WHAT IS A HEALTHY PLATELET COUNT?
A normal platelet count ranges from 150,000 to 450,000 platelets per microliter of blood. Having more than 450,000 platelets is a condition called thrombocytosis; having less than 150,000 is known as thrombocytopenia. You can get your platelet number from a routine blood test called a complete blood count (CBC).
WHAT ARE STEM CELLS
Broadly speaking, stem cells are used to treat disease or repair damaged tissue, to understand disease processes and for drug discovery. They are able to be used for these purposes because they belong to a special group of cells that are capable of differentiation. This means that they can form any of the more than 200 different cell types found in our bodies.
Different kinds of stem cells
Pluripotent stem cells are those that have the ability to form all the cells and tissues in the body (excluding the placenta). They are classified into either embryonic stem cells (ESCs) or induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs).
While ESCs are derived from the early embryo, induced pluripotent stem cells are created when adult stem cells are reprogrammed to become like ESCs. By culturing adult cells in the laboratory in the presence of genes which are functional in the early embryo, the adult genes are switched off and the cells’ embryonic genes switched on.
As our bodies develop, cells become more restricted in their capacity to differentiate into other cells types, and are termed multipotent or unipotent. After we are born, adult stem cells replace cells lost through normal wear-and-tear or disease.
Adult stem cells are found throughout our bodies. There are several types. For example, hematopoietic (blood) stem cells are found in the bone marrow. They give rise to red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets. Another example are neural stem cells found in the nervous system. Mesenchymal stem cells are found in fat (adipose) tissue, bone marrow and the umbilical cord.
STEM CELL APPLICATIONS
Stem cells are being studied for a number of reasons. The molecules and exosomes released from stem cells are also being studied in an effort to make medications. The paracrine soluble factors produced by stem cells, known as the stem cell secretome, has been found to be the predominant mechanism by which stem cell-based therapies mediate their effects in degenerative, auto-immune and inflammatory diseases.
Medical specialties and conditions that are studying and/or utilizing regenerative medicine stem cell therapy include, but are not limited to; Orthopedic, Aesthetic & Anti-Aging, Sexual Medicine, Urology, Neurodegeneration, Brain & Spinal Cord, Heart, Blood-Cell formation, Cochlear hair cell regrowth, Blindness and vision, Wound healing, Infertility,and HIV/AIDS.