Objective: To evaluate the histological changes induced in human skin by injection of autologous platelet-rich fibrin matrix (PRFM).
Methods: Four healthy adult volunteers were included in the study. Platelet-rich fibrin matrix was prepared from 9 mL of autologous blood using a proprietary system (Selphyl; Aesthetic Factors, Wayne, New Jersey) and injected into the deep dermis and immediate subdermis of the upper arms of subjects. Full-thickness skin biopsy specimens were taken from the treated areas over a 10-week period, and the specimens were processed for histological evaluation.
Results: Findings from histological examination supported the clinical observation of soft-tissue augmentation. As early as 7 days after treatment, activated fibroblasts and new collagen deposition were noted and continued to be evident throughout the course of the study. Development of new blood vessels was noted by 19 days; also at this time, intradermal collections of adipocytes and stimulation of subdermal adipocytes were noted. These findings became more pronounced over the duration of the study, although the fibroblastic response became much less pronounced. No abnormal mitotic figures were observed at any point, and a very mild chronic inflammatory response was noted only at the earliest time points of the study.
Conclusions: Injection of PRFM into the deep dermis and subdermis of the skin stimulates a number of cellular changes that can be harnessed for use. Coupled with prior in vitro and in vivo studies, we now have a much clearer picture of the cellular effects of PRFM and its potential uses in facial plastic surgery. Further work is planned to more clearly elucidate the potential role of PRFM in aesthetic and reconstructive surgery.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00956020.