3D printing of blood plasma may speed up wound healing
3D printing of blood plasma may speed up wound healing

New research by RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences suggests that effective wound healing may be aided by replicating a crucial component of our blood.

By integrating the platelet-rich plasma (PRP) that natural blood uses to mend tissues into a hydrogel, the team has been able to create unique, regenerative scaffolds, that they say are not only capable of rapidly healing wounds without leaving behind scarred tissue, but could have wider surgical applications as well. 

“Existing literature suggests that while the PRP already present in our blood helps to heal wounds, scarring can still occur,” said RCSI Professor Fergal O’Brien. “By 3D printing PRP into a biomaterial scaffold, we can increase the formation of blood vessels while also avoiding the formation of scars, leading to more successful wound healing.”

Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is a natural healing substance in our blood. This study explores ways of enhancing the wound healing process by extracting PRP from the blood of a patient with a complex skin wound and manipulating it through 3D printing to form an implant for tissue repair which can be used to treat difficult-to-heal skin wounds in a single surgical procedure.

Results showed that application of the 3D-printed PRP implant helped to speed up the healing of the wound by enabling efficient vascularization (meaning development of new blood vessels) and inhibiting fibrosis (scarring/thickening of tissue), both of which are essential for effective wound healing.

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