Effect of Platelet-Rich Plasma on Chondrogenic Differentiation in Three-Dimensional Culture

Steven Elder*, 1, John Thomason2
1 Department of Agricultural & Biological Engineering, Bagley College of Engineering, Mississippi State University, Starkville, MS, USA
2 Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Mississippi State University, Starkville, MS, USA

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© Elder and Thomason; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( which permits unrestrictive use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Agricultural & Biological Engineering, Mississippi State University, P.O. Box 9632, Mississippi State, MS 39762, USA; Tel: 662-325-9107; E-mail:


Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) may have the potential to enhance articular cartilage regeneration through release of growth factors including transforming growth factor isoforms. The purpose of this study was to investigate the potential for PRP to stimulate chondrogenic differentiation in three-dimensional PRP hydrogel constructs. Allogenic PRP was prepared using a double centrifugation protocol which resulted in a platelet concentration approximately 250% above baseline. Canine marrow stromal cells were encapsulated at 6.8×106 cells/ml in either 2% sodium alginate or in a 3:1 mixture of freshly prepared PRP and 2% alginate. PRP and alginate beads were cultured in chemically defined chondrogenic medium with and without 10 ng/ml TGF-β3. PRP cultures were additionally supplemented with frozen-thawed PRP. In the absence of TGF-β3, PRP had a mild stimulatory effect on cell proliferation. PRP did not stimulate cell proliferation in the presence of TGF-β3. Cells exposed to TGF-β3 accumulated significantly more GAG/DNA than those which were not, but there was not a statistically significant difference between alginate and PRP. Total collagen content was greater in PRP than in alginate, regardless of TGF-β3. Chondrogenesis in PRP was qualitatively and spatially different than that which occurred in conventional alginate beads and was characterized by isolated centers of intense chondrogenesis. Overall the results demonstrate that PRP alone weakly promotes chondroinduction of marrow stromal cells, and the effect is greatly augmented by TGF-β3.

Keywords:: Chondroinduction, hydrogel culture, mesenchymal stem cells, platelet-rich plasma..