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Blood Rev. 2013 Mar;27(2):77-89. doi: 10.1016/j.blre.2013.02.001. Epub 2013 Feb 19.

Blood-derived biomaterials and platelet growth factors in regenerative medicine.

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Institute of Medical Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering, College of Oral Medicine, Taipei Medical University, Taiwan.


Several biomaterials can be obtained from human blood. Some are used for clinical indications requiring a high content in fibrinogen, while others are used because they contain multiple platelet growth factors. Mimicking thrombin-induced physiological events of coagulation leading to fibrino-formation and platelet activation, blood biomaterials have critical advantages of being devoid of tissue necrotic effects and of being biodegradable by body enzymes. Fibrin-based biomaterials, known as fibrin glues or fibrin sealants, have been used for more than 30 years as surgical hemostatic and sealing agents, demonstrating benefits in essentially all surgical fields, including reconstructive plastic surgery and wound treatment. Clinical interest in platelet growth factor-rich biomaterials (often known as platelet gels or platelet-rich-plasma) has emerged more recently. Platelet gels are used in clinical situations to achieve wound healing and repair soft and hard tissues. Applications include the healing of recalcitrant ulcers and burns, and stimulation of osseous tissue regeneration in dentistry, implantology, and maxillofacial and plastic surgery. They were evaluated recently in knee osteoarthritis and for the repair of musculoskeletal tissue lesions in sports medicine. Platelet lysates are now used as a substitute for fetal bovine serum and for ex vivo clinical-scale expansion of stem cells, opening new perspectives in regenerative medicine. We present the scientific rationale that prevailed in the development of blood biomaterials, describe their modes of production and biochemical and functional characteristics, and present clinical applications in regenerative medicine.

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