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Wound Repair Regen. 2008 May-Jun;16(3):370-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1524-475X.2008.00376.x.

Platelets, but not erythrocytes, significantly affect cytokine release and scaffold contraction in a provisional scaffold model.

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  • 1CBR Institute for Biomedical Research, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.


Platelets and erythrocytes are major components of wound provisional scaffolding. In this study, we hypothesized that the concentration of platelets and erythrocytes would significantly affect fibroblast-mediated contraction of three-dimensional scaffolds or the release of cytokines from the scaffold. To test this hypothesis, human anterior cruciate ligament fibroblasts were cultured in one of four scaffolds: a collagen matrix, a collagen-fibrin matrix containing the same concentration of platelets as whole blood, a collagen-fibrin matrix containing a high platelet concentration, and a collagen-fibrin matrix containing a high platelet concentration and red blood cells. Cytokine release from the four groups of gels and gel contraction were measured over a 10-day period. The results of these assays supported greater cytokine release, fibroblast proliferation, and gel contraction in scaffolds with higher platelet concentration. In contrast, the addition of erythrocytes did not significantly stimulate or suppress scaffold contraction or growth factor release from the provisional scaffolds. We concluded that while platelet concentration can significantly impact cytokine release and scaffold retraction in a provisional scaffold, the inclusion of erythrocytes does not have a significant effect on these same behaviors. Therefore, while platelets may be an important regulator of repair processes after injury, it is less likely that erythrocytes have a similar function.

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