Background: Platelet preparations for tissue healing are usually preactivated before application to deliver concentrated growth factors. In this study, the authors investigated the differences between nonactivated and thrombin-activated platelets in wound healing.
Methods: The healing effects (i.e., wound closure, myofibroblast formation, and angiogenesis) of nonactivated and thrombin-activated platelets were compared in experimental wounds in diabetic (db/db) animals. In vitro, fibroblast phenotype and function were tested in response to platelets and activated platelets. No treatment served as a negative control.
Results: Wounds treated with platelets reached 90 percent closure after 15 days, faster than activated platelets (26 days), and with higher levels of myofibroblasts and angiogenesis. In vitro, platelets enhanced cell migration and induced two-fold higher myofibroblast differentiation and contraction compared with activated platelets.
Conclusions: Platelets stimulate wound healing more efficiently compared with activated platelets by enhancing fibroblast differentiation and contractile function. Similar levels of growth factors may induce different biological effects when delivered “on demand” rather than in an initial bolus.