For more than 40 years, clinicians have harnessed the healing power of platelet concentrates to enhance wound healing and tissue regeneration. Platelet-rich plasma (PRP), introduced in 1998, has been used with much success in a wide array of clinical applications ranging from skin care to osteoarthritis.
But one potential drawback of PRP is the lack of uniformity in its preparation protocols. As a result, the number of platelets in the final PRP product can vary, and some people may experience an adverse reaction to certain types of anticoagulants.
Platelet-rich fibrin (PRF) represents a second-generation autologous platelet concentrate designed to overcome these limitations. If you’re thinking about offering PRF in addition to PRP to your patients, you may have wondered whether you would need to buy completely new kits and centrifuges.
The good news is you don’t. Here’s how to make PRF using your Dr. PRP kit.
First, let’s briefly review the basics of PRF.
Unlike PRP, the PRF preparation protocol doesn’t require the use of anticoagulants, which means clot formation occurs naturally. This eliminates the risk of potential adverse reactions associated with bovine thrombin. It also means PRF is a 100% autologous product.
PRF has been described as “an autologous platelet and leukocyte-rich fibrin biomaterial,” which accumulates cytokines and immunity promoters in the fibrin clot.1 This fibrin clot offers several advantages:
Because anticoagulants aren’t used, the success of PRF production depends heavily on the speed of blood handling. The PRF membrane must be used immediately, and storage of the membrane isn’t possible due to potential bacterial contamination and dehydration.5
You don’t need to spend money buying PRF kits and centrifuges. If you already own a Dr. PRP kit, just follow these steps.
Please note that PRF must be used within 10 minutes. This is the time that PRF can remain in liquid form after coming into contact with calcium chloride.
After the PRF is created, inject it into the target area. This may include tendon injuries, muscle injuries, joint injuries, etc. Some clinicians also use PRF intradermally or subdermally as part of a facelift procedure.
The same Dr. PRP kit you use to prepare PRP can be used to create PRF.
Just like with PRP, blood from the patient is drawn via venipuncture for PRF. If you’re using the Dr. PRP kit, draw 17cc of blood into a 20cc syringe with 3cc of ACD-A.
If using the Dr. PRP kit, you’ll need approximately 17cc of blood.
Incorporating PRF into your practice shows your patients that you’re keeping up with the latest trends and research. Both PRP and PRF have their advantages and disadvantages, and offering both demonstrates that you have your patients’ unique needs in mind.