Controlled delivery of platelet-derived proteins enhances porcine wound healing
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is widely used for many clinical indications including wound healing due to the high concentrations of growth factors. However, the short half-life of these therapeutic proteins requires multiple large doses, and their efficacy is highly debated among clinicians. Here we report a method of protecting these proteins and releasing them in a controlled manner via a heparin-based coacervate delivery vehicle to improve wound healing in a porcine model. Platelet-derived proteins incorporated into the coacervate were protected and slowly released over 3 weeks in vitro. In a porcine model, PRP coacervate significantly accelerated the healing response over 10 days, in part by increasing the rate of wound reepithelialization by 35% compared to control. Additionally, PRP coacervate doubled the rate of wound contraction compared to all other treatments, including that of free PRP proteins. Wounds treated with PRP coacervate exhibited increased collagen alignment and an advanced state of vascularity compared to control treatments. These results suggest that this preparation of PRP accelerates healing of cutaneous wounds only as a controlled release formulation. The coacervate delivery vehicle is a simple and effective tool to improve the therapeutic efficacy of platelet-derived proteins for wound healing.