Lyophilized platelet-rich fibrin (PRF) promotes craniofacial bone regeneration through Runx2.
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Freeze-drying is an effective means to control scaffold pore size and preserve its composition. The purpose of the present study was to determine the applicability of lyophilized Platelet-rich fibrin (LPRF) as a scaffold for craniofacial tissue regeneration and to compare its biological effects with commonly used fresh Platelet-rich fibrin (PRF). LPRF caused a 4.8-fold0.4-fold elevation in Runt-related transcription factor 2 (Runx2) expression in alveolar bone cells, compared to a 3.6-fold0.2-fold increase when using fresh PRF, and a more than 10-fold rise of alkaline phosphatase levels and mineralization markers. LPRF-induced Runx2 expression only occurred in alveolar bone and not in periodontal or dental follicle cells. LPRF also caused a 1.6-fold increase in osteoblast proliferation (p<0.001) when compared to fresh PRF. When applied in a rat craniofacial defect model for six weeks, LPRF resulted in 97% bony coverage of the defect, compared to 84% for fresh PRF, 64% for fibrin, and 16% without scaffold. Moreover, LPRF thickened the trabecular diameter by 25% when compared to fresh PRF and fibrin, and only LPRF and fresh PRF resulted in the formation of interconnected trabeculae across the defect. Together, these studies support the application of lyophilized PRF as a biomimetic scaffold for craniofacial bone regeneration and mineralized tissue engineering.