Platelet rich plasma is enjoying a renaissance based upon excellent clinical experience, the development of new concentration technologies, and a plethora of scientific articles (now over several hundred annually) seeking to establish the correct dose and the right indications. There is no therapy that will be all things to all people, but it does appear that for many inflammatory conditions and in some situation of tissue degeneration, PRP has a place.
One of the ongoing issues has been the dose. Like any drug, it sure helps if the doctor knows the right amount to give. Older technologies that simply use a centrifuge to prepare PRP have no indication of (a) the patient’s present platelet count and (b) the amount of concentrate produced. If you know both numbers, it is possible to calculate the amount of “growth factors’ that are being introduced. It is only by these type of measurements that we can advance the field and produce improved results for our patients.
The cell counter picture here solves these problems. A small portion of the patient’s blood is pre-tested to determine platelet count and white blood cell count. After concentration, the test is repeated with a tiny sample from the PRP concentrate. By comparing these values, we can (1) know what we are administering and (2) adjust the Angel machine sensors to either increase or decrease the white cell population.
The last comment is very important as we get to “stem cell” purification. The advantage of advanced analytics is that we can select out the correct cell population, for example from bone marrow, and establish a reproducible “dose” for the patient. This after all is the essence of quality assurance- verification.
The hype of new kinds of cell therapy will only be realized when the science catches up with the potential…