New research from the University of Medicine and Health Sciences RCSI, published in Advanced Functional Materials, suggests that effective wound healing can be enhanced by the replication of a crucial component of our blood.
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) is a natural healing substance in our blood. This study explores ways to improve the wound healing process by extracting PRP from the blood of a patient with a complex skin wound and manipulating it using 3D printing. to form a tissue repair implant that can be used to treat difficult-to-heal skin wounds in a single surgical procedure.
The results showed that the application of the 3D printed PRP implant helped accelerate wound healing by allowing efficient vascularization (i.e. the development of new blood vessels) and inhibiting fibrosis (scarring / thickening of tissue), which are essential for effective wound healing.
Speaking about the novel aspects of this discovery, Fergal O’Brien, professor of bioengineering and regenerative medicine at RCSI, has noted that:
The existing literature suggests that while the PRP already present in our blood helps heal wounds, scarring can still occur. By 3D printing PRP on a biomaterial scaffold, we can increase blood vessel formation while preventing scar formation, leading to more successful wound healing. In addition to promising results for skin wound healing, this technology can potentially be used to regenerate different tissues, dramatically influencing the ever-growing markets for regenerative medicine, 3D printing, and personalized medicine.