Comparison of growth factor and platelet concentration from commercial platelet-rich plasma separation systems

Am J Sports Med. 2011 Feb;39(2):266-71. doi: 10.1177/0363546510387517. Epub 2010 Nov 4.


Background: Clinical studies claim that platelet-rich plasma (PRP) shortens recovery times because of its high concentration of growth factors that may enhance the tissue repair process. Most of these studies obtained PRP using different separation systems, and few analyzed the content of the PRP used as treatment.

Purpose: This study characterized the composition of single-donor PRP produced by 3 commercially available PRP separation systems.

Study design: Controlled laboratory study.

Methods: Five healthy humans donated 100 mL of blood, which was processed to produce PRP using 3 PRP concentration systems (MTF Cascade, Arteriocyte Magellan, Biomet GPS III). Platelet, white blood cell (WBC), red blood cell, and fibrinogen concentrations were analyzed by automated systems in a clinical laboratory, whereas ELISA determined the concentrations of platelet-derived growth factor αβ and ββ (PDGF-αβ, PDGF-ββ), transforming growth factor β1 (TGF-β1), and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF).

Results: There was no significant difference in mean PRP platelet, red blood cell, active TGF-β1, or fibrinogen concentrations among PRP separation systems. There was a significant difference in platelet capture efficiency. The highest platelet capture efficiency was obtained with Cascade, which was comparable with Magellan but significantly higher than GPS III. There was a significant difference among all systems in the concentrations of WBC, PDGF-αβ, PDGF-ββ, and VEGF. The Cascade system concentrated leukocyte-poor PRP, compared with leukocyte-rich PRP from the GPS III and Magellan systems.

Conclusion: The GPS III and Magellan concentrate leukocyte-rich PRP, which results in increased concentrations of WBCs, PDGF-αβ, PDGF-ββ, and VEGF as compared with the leukocyte-poor PRP from Cascade. Overall, there was no significant difference among systems in the platelet concentration, red blood cell, active TGF-β1, or fibrinogen levels.

Clinical relevance: Products from commercially available PRP separation systems produce differing concentrations of growth factors and WBCs. Further research is necessary to determine the clinical relevance of these findings.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cell Separation / methods*
  • Commerce
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Erythrocyte Count
  • Female
  • Fibrinogen / analysis
  • Humans
  • Leukocyte Count
  • Male
  • Platelet-Derived Growth Factor / analysis*
  • Platelet-Rich Plasma / chemistry*


  • Platelet-Derived Growth Factor
  • Fibrinogen