A number of recently published studies have established a substantial age dependence of the response of ACL fibroblasts to stimulation by platelet-rich plasma (PRP). Further in-depth research of this age dependence revealed negative effects on both histological and biomechanical results in a large animal model. However, while it has been postulated that this association could affect potential human applications negatively too it remains to be proven that the same effects occur in human cells. Thus it was the objective of this study to search for age dependence in human fibroblasts before further human experiments are done. Human fibroblasts were obtained from 10 immature and adolescent patients, based on a-priori power calculations, and cultured in a collagen-PRP composite. Three parameters that are pivotal for defect remodeling and wound healing-cell migration, cell proliferation, and scaffold contraction-were chosen as endpoints. Both migration and proliferation were significantly higher in immature cells, but no differences were seen in wound contraction. The former findings suggest that immature patients respond more favorably to treatment with PRP, which consequently might translate into better results in ACL tissue engineering.
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