Clinics (Sao Paulo). 2017 February; 72(2): 116-124.

Copyright © 2017 CLINICS

Three-dimensional structure and cytokine distribution of platelet-rich fibrin

Meng-Yi Bai I IV , Ching-Wei Wang I , Jyun-Yi Wang I , Ming-Fang Lin II , Wing P Chan II III *

Graduate Institute of Biomedical Engineering, National Taiwan University of Science and Technology, Taipei 10607, Taiwan

Department of Radiology, Wan Fang Hospital, Taipei Medical University, Taipei 116, Taiwan

Department of Radiology, School of Medicine, College of Medicine, Taipei Medical University, Taipei 110, Taiwan

Adjunct appointment to the Department of Biomedical Engineering, National Defense Medical Center, Taipei 116, Taiwan

*Corresponding author. E-mail:

received September 1, 2016; revised November 5, 2016; accepted November 28, 2016.



Previous reports have revealed that several cytokines (including platelet-derived growth factor-BB, transforming growth factors-β1 and insulin-like growth factor-1) can enhance the rate of bone formation and synthesis of extracellular matrix in orthopaedics or periodontology. This study aimed to determine the concentration of cytokines within platelet-rich fibrin microstructures and investigate whether there are differences in the different portions of platelet-rich fibrin, which has implications for proper clinical use of platelet-rich fibrin gel.


Whole blood was obtained from six New Zealand rabbits (male, 7 to 39 weeks old, weight 2.7-4 kg); it was then centrifuged for preparation of platelet-rich fibrin gels and harvest of plasma. The resultant platelet-rich fibrin gels were used for cytokine determination, histological analyses and scanning electron microscopy. All plasmas obtained were subject to the same cytokine determination assays for the purpose of comparison.


Cytokines platelet-derived growth factor-BB and transforming growth factor-β1 formed concentration gradients from high at the red blood cell end of the platelet-rich fibrin gel (p=1.88×10-5) to low at the plasma end (p=0.19). Insulin-like growth factor-1 concentrations were similar at the red blood cell and plasma ends. The porosities of the platelet-rich fibrin samples taken in sequence from the red blood cell end to the plasma end were 6.5% ± 4.9%, 24.8% ± 7.5%, 30.3% ± 8.5%, 41.4% ± 12.3%, and 40.3% ± 11.7%, respectively, showing a gradual decrease in the compactness of the platelet-rich fibrin network.


Cytokine concentrations are positively associated with platelet-rich fibrin microstructure and portion in a rabbit model. As platelet-rich fibrin is the main entity currently used in regenerative medicine, assessing cytokine concentration and the most valuable portion of PRF gels is essential and recommended to all physicians.

Keywords: Biomaterial, Cytokine, Platelet-Rich Fibrin (PRF)

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