Blood derivatives for ocular surface repair

Dermot McGrath

Posted: Sunday, September 27, 2020

Jesús Merayo Lloves MD

Plasma rich in growth factors (PRGF) has been shown to be safe and effective in tissue repair and regeneration and holds significant promise in the treatment of a wide range of ocular surface disorders, according to Jesús Merayo Lloves MD.

Speaking at the 11th EuCornea Congress, Dr Merayo Lloves explained that PRGF involves the use of patient’s own blood derivatives to accelerate tissue regeneration thanks to its high concentration of growth factors that encourage cellular proliferation and migration.

A standardized protocol has been developed to combine these growth factors with autologous proteins and biomaterials in a therapeutic eyedrop formulation (Endoret, BTI).

“The eye drops have been shown to be biologically stable for up to three months when frozen and up to 72 hours at room temperature, so they are well suited to clinical use,” said Dr Merayo-Lloves.

As well as eye drops, PRGF also comes in three different therapeutic formulations – liquid plasma, fibrin clot and membrane – which means it can be easily adapted to different clinical needs.

Several studies over recent years have demonstrated the robust anti-fibrotic and regenerative properties of PRGF, said Dr Merayo-Lloves.

One of the key advantages of PRGF is its ability to suppress myofibroblasts in ocular tissues.

“Our early studies on this showed that PRGF prevents and inhibits TGF-β1–induced myofibroblast differentiation which is known to play a role in corneal haze and is also associated with problems of scarring in glaucoma and retinal surgery,” he said.

Studies also showed that PRGF significantly enhances the proliferation and migration of both keratocytes and conjunctival fibroblasts which are important for corneal transparency and tissue repair.

PRGF has now successfully been used to treat a wide range of indications including chemical burns, neurotrophic ulcers, dry eye, graft-versus-host disease, rosacea, keratoplasty and macular hole, he said.