Updated: Oct 6, 2022
Platelet-rich fibrin (PRF) is an autologous fibrin-based biomaterial. It was first developed in France in 2000. PRF is considered to be all natural as it is simply made from spinning the patient’s own blood in a centrifuge.
The PRF protocol produces a fibrin clot charged with serum and platelets. The high density fibrin clot that results from simply spinning the patient’s blood is used as a biological healing matrix, which supports cell migration and cytokine release (Ehrenfest et. al, Trends in Biotechnology, Jan. 2009).
With a high concentration of platelets and white cells, PRF efficacy is reportedly due to the release of growth factors at the surgical or injury site. Further, clinical studies indicate that PRF "can shorten recovery time, reduce surgery-related swelling and pain, accelerate the repair of the soft tissues and increase bone regeneration in the short-term” (Ehrenfest et. al).
PRF is activated in just two to three minutes. The process is quicker than with platelet-rich protein (PRP) because anticoagulation is not involved. Activation in the centrifuge is caused by platelets in the blood contacting the vacuum tube walls, resulting in the release of a coagulation cascades.
A fibrin clot is then obtained in the middle of the tube. To obtain an autologous fibrin membrane, practitioners simply press out any fluids from the plug.
Quickness is the key to using PRF. If left exposed to the air too long, a small blood clot without consistency will form instead of the serum and platelet-rich membrane or plug.
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