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Tissue Eng Part B Rev. 2014 Aug;20(4):267-76. doi: 10.1089/ten.TEB.2013.0317. Epub 2013 Dec 18.

Application of platelet-rich plasma and platelet-rich fibrin in fat grafting: basic science and literature review.

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1 Department of Plastic Surgery, University of Pittsburgh , Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.


Due to the natural properties of fat, fat grafting remains a popular procedure for soft tissue volume augmentation and reconstruction. However, clinical outcome varies and is technique dependent. Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) contains α-granules, from which multiple growth factors such as platelet-derived growth factor, transforming growth factor-β, vascular endothelial growth factor, and epidermal growth factor can be released after activation. In recent years, the scope of PRP therapies has extended from bone regeneration, wound healing, and healing of musculoskeletal injuries, to enhancement of fat graft survival. In this review, we focus on the definition of PRP, the different PRP preparation and activation methods, and growth factor concentrations. In addition, we discuss possible mechanisms for the role of PRP in fat grafting by reviewing in vitro studies with adipose-derived stem cells, preadipocytes, and adipocytes, and preclinical and clinical research. We also review platelet-rich fibrin, a so-called second generation PRP, and its slow-releasing biology and effects on fat grafts compared to PRP in both animal and clinical research. Finally, we provide a general foundation on which to critically evaluate earlier studies, discuss the limitations of previous research, and direct plans for future experiments to improve the optimal effects of PRP in fat grafting.

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