Photoactivated platelet rich plasma (PRP) based patient-specific bio-ink for cartilage tissue engineering

In the treatment of cartilage damage, the use of platelet rich plasma (PRP) is a personal therapeutic aid resource. In this study, it was aimed to increase the clinical effectiveness of this cocktail, which consists of growth factors necessary for wound healing and tissue regeneration. In this direction, photo-active and photo-crosslinkable bio-ink has been used in order to maintain the bioactivity of PRP longer. As a result, it has been shown that Gel-MA / PRP hydrogels with desired mechanical properties (low degradation rate and high mechanical strength) are subjected to periodic application of PAC and bio-ink, resulting in longer periods of release of growth factors.

Abstract: Nowadays, scientists focus on the development of tissue-specific and personalized bio-ink that can be used in 3D bioprinting technologies. Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is a person-specific source that is used as a therapeutic for the cure of cartilage damage because it offers a cocktail of growth factors that are necessary for tissue regeneration. However, PRP treatments in clinic is not satisfactory and requires to be upgraded, especially the point of maintaining bioactivity. In this study, we presented PRP as a photo-activated and photo cross-linkable bio-ink in terms of tissue-specific structures for the first time. We achieved long term and constant rate growth factor release and bioactivity protection of PRP with satisfactory mechanical characteristics. Photo-crosslinked PRP hydrogel was enabled by the addition of microwave-induced methacrylated gelatin (Mw-Gel-MA) which is connected to platelets in PRP via integrin receptors in its structure and chemically cross-linked upon UV irradiation (300-500 nm). Photoactivation of PRP was realized by a polychromatic light source in the near-infrared region (PAC, 600-1200 nm). Our results showed that Gel-MA/PRP hydrogels with desired mechanical properties (low degradation rate and high mechanical strength) released growth factors at a constant rate for long-term by the periodic PAC application. In-vitro cell culture studies (viability, proliferation, morphology, histology, immunochemistry, biochemistry, gene expression analyzes) proved that proliferation and differentiation of the ATDC5 cells increased in the periodically light applied Gel-MA/PRP hydrogel without any external chemical agents.