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Corneal Wound Healing Promoted by 3 Blood Derivatives: An In Vitro and In Vivo Comparative Study

Freire, Vanesa; Andollo, Noelia PhD; Etxebarria, Jaime MD; Hernáez-Moya, Raquel; Durán, Juan A. PhD; Morales, María-Celia PhD

doi: 10.1097/ICO.0000000000000109
Basic Investigation

Purpose: The aim of this study was to compare the effect on corneal wound healing of 3 differently manufactured blood derivatives [autologous serum (AS), platelet-rich plasma, and serum derived from plasma rich in growth factors (s-PRGF)].

Methods: Scratch wound-healing assays were performed on rabbit primary corneal epithelial cultures and human corneal epithelial cells. Additionally, mechanical debridement of rabbit corneal epithelium was performed. Wound-healing progression was assessed by measuring the denuded areas remaining over time after treatment with each of the 3 blood derivatives or a control treatment.

Results: In vitro data show statistically significant differences in the healing process with all the derivatives compared with the control, but 2 of them (AS and s-PRGF) induced markedly faster wound healing. In contrast, although the mean time required to complete in vivo reepithelization was similar to that of AS and s-PRGF treatment, only wounds treated with s-PRGF were significantly smaller in size from 2.5 days onward with respect to the control treatment.

Conclusions: All 3 blood derivatives studied are promoters of corneal reepithelization. However, the corneal wound-healing progresses differently with each derivative, being faster in vitro under AS and s-PRGF treatment and producing in vivo the greatest decrease in wound size under s-PRGF treatment. These findings highlight that the manufacturing process of the blood derivatives may modulate the efficacy of the final product.

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*Department of Cell Biology and Histology, School of Medicine and Dentistry, BioCruces Health Research Institute, University of the Basque Country, Leioa, Spain;

Department of R&D, Instituto Clínico-Quirúrgico de Oftalmología, Bilbao, Spain;

BioCruces Health Research Institute, Cruces University Hospital, Barakaldo, Spain; and

§Department of Ophthalmology, School of Medicine and Dentistry, BioCruces Health Research Institute, University of the Basque Country, Leioa, Spain.

Reprints: María-Celia Morales, BioCruces Health Research Institute, Cruces University Hospital, 48903 Barakaldo, Vizcaya, Spain (e-mail:

The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.

Supported by grants from the University of the Basque Country/Instituto Clínico-Quirúrgico de Oftalmología (UE09/12), from the Saiotek Program of the Basque Government (S-PE10UN60), and from the University of the Basque Country (UFI11/44). V. Freire was supported by a fellowship from Torres-Quevedo Program.

Supplemental digital content is available for this article. Direct URL citations appear in the printed text and are provided in the HTML and PDF versions of this article on the journal's Web site (

Received November 10, 2013

Accepted February 09, 2014

Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.