Regenerative medicine strives to use the body’s own healing mechanisms to rebuild damaged or missing tissues. When tissue is damaged there is release of chemicals that signal the repair process. This repair process signaling has the purpose of attracting healing cells to the area of injury, and directing these healing cells as to what needs to be done. In all cases these healing cells are stem cells.
These stem cells live in all tissues of the body and lie dormant until there is damage and the need for repair. The chemical mediators wake these cells up and direct them into the area of damage. The chemical mediators in the damaged area direct the stem cells to do what needs to be done. This means that the chemical mediators affect the DNA of the stem cells causing the cells to transform into another cell that more closely resembles the damaged cell. So for example if the cartilage is damaged as in arthritis then the local tissue stem cells are directed to form more cartilage. This is tissue regeneration.
In many cases however the regenerative process is overwhelmed or exhausted or out of resources and healing is incomplete. Adding Platelet Rich Plasma and/or stem cells can restart the healing process and rejuvenate the damaged tissue.
When tissue is damages platelets are among the first cells attracted to the area. Platelets become sticky in the presence of tissue damage or damage to blood vessels. Once platelets stick they release chemicals that support tissue regeneration. These factors are listed below:
- platelet-derived growth factor
- transforming growth factor beta
- fibroblast growth factor
- insulin-like growth factor 1
- insulin-like growth factor 2
- vascular endothelial growth factor
- epidermal growth factor
- Interleukin 8
- keratinocyte growth factor
- connective tissue growth factor
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) is created by collecting a blood sample from your pet into a specially prepared tube then using a special centrifuge to concentrate the platelets.
The platelets may then be stimulated to de-granulate with the use of chemicals.
The PRP is then injected into areas needing regeneration. This might be into an arthritic joint, or a joint undergoing surgery, into a ligament or just IV.
PRP may be used along with Stem Cell Therapy to promote stem cell activity.