Injectable fillers have achieved tremendous popularity and can be used for a wide variety of facial aesthetic needs. But most injectable fillers are merely temporary fillers that add volume and then disappears as the material absorbs. But a few contemporary fillers take a different approach, using natural materials whose intent is to stimulate local cellular and tissue growth which then creates the volumetric effect.
One of these autologous fillers is known as Selphyl. This is a unique system that creates a platelet-rich plasma (PRP) preparation from a small amount of blood. While PRP products are not new, what is unique about Selphyl is that it contains a fibrin matrix (Platelet-Rich Fibrin Matrix, PRFM) that wraps the platelets in its membrane allowing a sustained release of its growth factors after implantation. Such sustained release has the capability to promote the growth of new tissue through blood vessel and collagen stimulation, creating a natural tissue regeneration/augmentation.
The Selphyl system comes in a kit that allows the PRFM to be prepared in the office if necessary and takes about 30 minutes to do. Volumetric fill volumes are available in 4, 8 and 16ccs. It contains no synthetic or animal products, thus there is no chance of any allergic or immunologic reactions. While it is only FDA-approved for orthopedics, it is being widely used off-label in facial aesthetic applications for injection into wrinkles, folds, acne scars, hollows, tear troughs and in larger volumes for a ‘liquid facelift’. Best results are obtained with multiple injection treatments spaced four to six weeks apart, presumably due to the stimulation and build-up of collagen.
PRFM can be combined with other fillers, most notably fat. While theoretical, the introduction of stabilized platelets with fat and stem cells may allow more fat to survive or more stem cells to convert to fat cells.
Selphyl and its PRFM matrix is part of an evolving set of aesthetic treatments that are designed to stimulate collagen, improve the quality of the overlying skin and create an overall anti-aging effect. Patients are naturally attracted to an all-natural filler approach that employs local tissue regeneration to achieve the aesthetic goal.
Dr. Barry Eppley