Basic science and clinical application of platelet-rich plasma for cartilage defects and osteoarthritis: a review

Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 2013 Nov;21(11):1627-37. doi: 10.1016/j.joca.2013.07.017. Epub 2013 Aug 7.


Cartilage defects (CDs) and the most common joint disease, osteoarthritis (OA), are characterized by degeneration of the articular cartilage that ultimately leads to joint destruction. Current treatment strategies are inadequate: none results in restoration of fully functional hyaline cartilage, for uncertain long-term prognosis. Tissue engineering of cartilage with auto-cartilage cells or appropriate mesenchymal stem cell (MSC)-derived cartilage cells is currently being investigated to search for new therapies. Platelet-rich plasma (PRP), an autologous source of factors obtained by centrifugation, possesses various functions. For culture of MSCs and cartilage cells, it might be substituted for fetal bovine serum (FBS) with high efficiency and safety. It enhances the regeneration of cartilage cells when added to cartilage tissue engineering constructs for repairing CDs and as regenerative injection therapy for OA. But challenges also remain. Some of the growth factors (GFs) present in PRP have negative effects on the OA joint. It is therefore unlikely that a mix of GFs some of which have negative effects in the OA joint, as present in PRP, will be of benefit in OA. Future directions of PRP application may concentrate on seeking an appropriate and innocuous agent like anti-VEGF antibody that can modulate and control the effect of PRP.

Keywords: Cartilage defects; EGF; Osteoarthritis; Platelet-rich plasma; epidermal growth factor.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cartilage, Articular / injuries*
  • Cartilage, Articular / physiology
  • Chondrocytes / cytology
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Humans
  • Osteoarthritis / therapy*
  • Platelet-Rich Plasma*
  • Regeneration
  • Tissue Engineering / methods