So we have been in the regenerative medicine specialty for about 8 years. Just like pretty much everyone, we started by using Platelet Rich Plasma. We learnt about it, we were fascinated by it and we treated our patients with it. Patients loved and so did we.
PRP, if obtained and used correctly is a very powerful tool to implement in any medical practice. Especially if we deal with the elderly, osteoarthritis, wear and tear of tendons and ligaments, loss of vitality. The PRP is also very frequently used in Plastic and reconstructive surgery. For wound care, scar improvement and overall rejuvenation of the skin.
But why does it work? and how?
Well, we are all familiar with platelets. They seem to have significant power and influence over tissue regeneration, and by concentrating them in a blood sample we can obtain signaling proteins, cytokines and growth factors. If we add white blood cells to the mix, we will have what is called L-PRP (leukocyte rich PRP), which makes that “soup” even more interesting.
Now, to harness the power of those bioactive substances we need to coax the cells into releasing them. Normally the platelets get activated by the addition of calcium, or by contact with collagen. But several studies have demonstrated the influence of laser of low intensity over the activity of some cells. That effect is called “Photobiomodulation”. Basically it is form of light this modality uses non-ionizing light sources, like LEDs or Helium-Neon lasers to produce photochemical events at various biological scales. It have been demonstrated that this light will react with the enzyme Cytochrome C oxidase which is paramount in the mitochondrial processes.
Several scientists went on to study this light and its effects over cellular cultures. and they found that cells proliferate more when exposed to low level laser, they also showed increased viability!
So we went on to compare the levels of cytokines and growth factors in an irradiated sample and a non irradiated one. And sure enough some of the growth factors even tripled the concentrations after laser exposure. The famous Interleukin 10, anti inflammatory protein doubled the levels, endorphins were released in high levels.
It has been established that the photobiomodulation process will give extraordinary benefits in pain management or inflammation, immunomodulation, and promotion of wound healing and tissue regeneration, and it plays a fundamental part in our protocols.
Isn’t it all short of amazing?