Nature as a guide in regenerative medicine: the PRF
Great advances in science have started from a simple premise: to copy what nature does.
Such is the case of the use in regenerative medicine of plasma rich in growth factors or PRF, one of the booming treatments of the current medicine.
The idea is simple. When we suffer a wound in our body, mechanisms are started to heal it. Platelets produce growth factors, stimuli that tell our cells how to act, with anti-inflammatory and regenerative properties.
Its use is not exactly new. In the 1980s, its advantages began to be studied but it was not until the late 1990s that its application spread. The Institute of Biotechnology of Vitoria, BTI, led by Dr. Eduardo Anitua, developed the PRGF® technology.
The technique consists in extracting to the patient a small amount of blood from which, after a centrifugation process, platelets are extrac-ted with high levels of proteins. The result is a plasma that accelerates the regeneration of tissues, with the advantage that there is no rejection because it is an autologous material, that is, originated by the patient himself.
His breakthrough came when several elite athletes began using him in their treatments, including tennis player Rafa Nadal. Nowadays, its use has extended from aesthetic medicine, traumatology and dentistry to dermatology and orthopedics.
In dentistry for example, the applications are several. As a complement to the healing after implant placement, for bone grafts or sinus lift operations, one of the most complex in today’s dentistry.
The Puerto de la Cruz clinic Artedental has has had a specialist in this technique for more than a decade, the surgeon Víctor Cubillo.
Dr. Cubillo is one of the pioneers in Spain to use the A-PRF (Advanced PRF), as well as a scholar and defender of its use.
“What we do here is to imitate nature. What better regenerative material could we use than the one that our own body makes? “he ex-plains. ” “Thanks to the use of plasma, we have achieved a shorter period in patient recovery, in addition to a greater guarantee of solidification and strengthening of dental pieces, a real leap in modern dentistry.”
However, this technique also has objectors. Some experts argue that everything depends on the process that is used to apply it, because when badly employed, it does not give results.
In Artedental, for example, every time this material is used, a protocol based on the work of a team of professionals is implemented.
“Everything works like a perfect gear,” explains Guillermo Garcia, PhD in Pharmacy, as well as a clinical analyst.
García is a collaborator in Artedental, where he goes to carry out the extractions and to perform tests on the patients to whom the plasma is going to be applied.
“They ask for my opinion, and we do brief clinical sessions to discuss the analytics,” he says.
It evaluates the necessary parameters, such as the level of platelets, coagulation factors or the identification of anemia.
“Everything is prepared,” he explains. “There is a complete team that deals with the patient. Besides the analyst and the DUE, the auxiliaries are perfectly organised in time and form; and the surgeon, Dr. Víctor Cubillo, knows the technique perfectly and has all the material prepared (the tubes, the centrifuge …). It is an” invisible coordination for the patient, but perfect in its execution for the professionals who work there. “
“In Artedental, we offer a complete service. Extraction, analytical and specific treatment, either implants or sinus lift, ” says Amaya Sáez, manager of the clinic. “The extraction is always done in situ so that the intervention can be done as soon as possible. It is not left for another time, which implies an exponential advantage for the patient in terms of time and cost. “
Sáez also explains that recently other cosmetic medicine specialties have been added to the clinic’s services, complementing those for dentistry for the beautification of the smile, and also using the PRF.
“Plasma rich in growth factors is a treatment that has come to stay given its innumerable advantages. We would not be in the vanguard of medicine if we missed a treatment of these characteristics, ” Amaya concludes.