SLK’S PRP PURIFICATION PROCEDURE, STEP-BY-STEP
There is a ton of variability in how different clinics harvest and purify their PRP. At SLK, we don’t just buy a PRP system and follow a cookie-cutter recipe, we spend a LOT of time researching and studying the best ways to purify your platelets so that they have the highest viability and efficacy. That said, we wanted to share with our patients our process for generating PRP so they can become better informed about the PRP process.
At SLK we use the following method to purify our PRP because it has proven to be the best method for eliminating inflammatory red blood cells and white blood cells. Failure to eliminate red blood cells during the PRP purification process may result in inflammation, cell death, free radical formation and impaired healing. Presence of white blood cells will also lead to inflammation, free radicals, tissue damage and impaired healing.
STEP 1: GEL SEPARATION
A collection tube containing a physical gel separator is obtained. This is a key step in ensuring platelets rise to the top of the tube, while larger inflammatory cells like granulocytes and red blood cells are filtered to the bottom of the tube. Many clinics use PRP systems without gel separators but we find it is critical to ensuring plasma quality.
STEP 2: BLOOD DRAW
A SLK nurse or nurse practitioner with many years of phlebotomy experience draws the blood into the collection tube. The collection tube is pH balanced so the PRP does not produce a burning sensation when injected into the patient’s skin.
STEP 3: CENTRIFUGATION
The collection tube is then placed into a centrifuge where it is spun for several minutes to separate the plasma from the red blood cells.
STEP 4: SEPARATION INTO LAYERS
The nurse removes the collection tube from the centrifuge. The red and white blood cells are now located below the gel separator so they cannot contaminate the upper layer of plasma. The plasma layer is now yellow or straw-colored.
STEP 5: CONCENTRATING THE PRP
At this point, the RN/NP may opt to further concentrate the platelets by discarding some of the platelet poor plasma at the very top of the collection tube. Whether this is done depends on the patient and the particular PRP procedure being performed.
STEP 6: MATRIX FORMATION (PRFM)
Besides the use of a gel separator, another reason SLK’s PRP process differs from that of others’ is the activation of a matrix to support the platelets. Prior to injection, our RN/NPs initiate formation of a fibrin matrix (PRFM) in the tube by adding a small amount calcium chloride.
This matrix provides a scaffold to keep platelets in place and to support prolonged growth factor release, resulting in prolonged stem cell activation. The PRP remains liquid for approximately 10 minutes before forming the matrix.
STEP 7: INJECTION
The platelet-rich plasma is now ready for injection. Small needles or cannulas will be used to inject the PRP into the subdermal layer of skin where the platelets may now release significant levels of growth factors while being securely retained in the fibrin matrix.