March 14, 2023

How does PRP work

Check out our blog post on how PRP works

Platelet rich plasma (PRP) is my FAVORITE procedure for anti-aging and I LOVE what it can do to heal joints and tendons. Did you know PRP can also treat scars?? Yep, scars from surgery, acne, or injury!

How do platelets work for anti-aging, tissue and wound repair?

Platelets contain 30 different bioactive proteins which play a role in hemostasis and tissue healing. There are seven fundamental protein growth factors that platelets contain that initiate wound healing and tissue regeneration (Dhurat, R.):

  1. Platelet derived growth factor – regulates collagen synthesis, stimulates fibroblasts/glial and smooth muscle cells

  2. Transforming growth factor – stimulates mesenchymal cell proliferation

  3. Vascular endothelial growth factor – increases angiogenesis, stimulates endothelial cells

  4. Epidermal growth factor – Stimulates mesenchymal/endothelial mitogenesis

  5. Fibroblast growth factor -stimulates mesenchymal cells and promotes growth

  6. Connective tissue growth factor – promotes angiogenesis and cartilage formation

  7. Insulin like growth factor – stimulates fibroblasts and protein synthesis

(Sunith, R.V.)

The process matters…

Not all PRP is created equal. There are many PRP systems on the market that facilitate the preparation of PRP for use in aesthetics and orthopedics. So what makes a good PRP system?

  • The concentration of platelets obtained

  • Centrifugal force

  • Draw of blood

  • Time

  • Collection tube

  • Temperature

  • Anticoagulant

  • Activation

(Dhurat, R.)

The lowest platelet concentrating systems obtain platetelets at 2.5-3 times baseline while the highest systems obtain platelets at 5-9 times baseline (Dhurat, R.). The best systems utilize a double spin method. The type of blood draw is also important. A large bore needle will prevent activation of the platelets prior to centrifugation. Centrifuge time is also key and this is relative to the amount of blood collected (Dhurat, R.) as well as The collection kit. Polypropylene tubes cause platelet adhesion to the inside of the tube reducing the concentration of platelets obtained. It is best to use a polycarbonate collection system to prevent platelet adhesion in the collection tube. The anticoagulant being used also matters. Best results are seen with citrate and dextrose of sodium anticoagulants (Dhurat, R.).

When the platelets are activated is a very pivotal part of the process. Premature activation of platelets must be avoided to achieve desired results. Platelets can be activated with thrombin or calcium, mechanical activation (drawing blood with a small bore needle), or by entering soft tissue. So simply put there is no need to activate the platelets unnecessarily. Simply injecting the PRP through a 30 gauge needle will cause the platelets to activate as well as injecting into soft tissue. Once activated, the proteins bind to their target cells – mesenchymal cells, osteoblasts, fibroblasts, endothelial cells, epidermal cells which then activate signal proteins to cause cell proliferation, matrix formation, osteoid production, collagen synthesis etc. to promote tissue and wound repair and regeneration (Dhurat, R.). After activation of the platelets, the secretion of growth factors starts approximately 10 minutes later and lasts for about 1 hour (Marx, R.E.)

What system do we use at Wave on Wave Health?

At Wave on Wave Health we use PureSpin PRP for our centrifuge system and the PureSpin polycarbonate collection kit. PureSpin PRP is an FDA approved system and is able to obtain the highest amount of platelets at whopping 6-11 times baseline concentration. That means more platelets, more growth factors and better results! (which is what we want and why we chose this system). We also use Rejuvapen NXT as our microneedling device for aesthetic procedures and scar reduction with PRP. Rejuvapen NXT is also an FDA cleared medical device. Rejuvapen NXT uses ISO tips, an infinite dial to increase precision accuracy, and a plug in system for consistent output with full power for the entire treatment. Both systems are proudly made in the USA!


Dhurat, R. & Sukesh, M.S. (2014). Principles and Methods of Preparation of Platelet-Rich Plasma: A Review and Author’s Perspective. J Cutan Aesthetic Surg. 7(4): 189-197

Marx RE. Platelet-rich plasma (PRP): What Is PRP and What Is Not PRP? Implant Dent. 2001;10:225–8.

Sunitha, R.V. & Munirathnam, N.E. (2008). Evolution of second generation platelet concentrate. Indian J. Dent Res. 19: 42-6

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