Background of problems: Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) gel is derived from an autogenous preparation of concentrated platelets and is widely used in implant dentistry as a vector for cell growth factors. However, limited data are available on its structure and composition. The present study was aimed at providing a flow cytometric and ultrastructural characterization of PRP gel.
Materials and methods: Twenty PRP gel samples were obtained from healthy volunteers. These PRP gel specimens were prepared for transmission (TEM) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) examination of their morphological ultrastructure. Flow cytometry with CD41-PE monoclonal antibody was used to detect platelet cells, as this antibody recognizes human-platelet-specific antigen CD41.
Results: Both SEM and TEM showed that PRP gel contains two components: a fibrillar material with striated band similar to fibrin filaments, and a cellular component that contains human platelet cells. Both techniques indicated that no morphological elements were bound between the cellular component and the fibrillar material. The cells were confirmed as platelet cells by flow cytometric study after incubation with specific monoclonal antibody CD41-PE.
Conclusion: PRP gel contains a fibrillar and a cellular (largely human platelet cell) component. This unique structure may be capable of acting as a vehicle for carrying of cells that are essential for soft/hard tissue regeneration.