J Biomed Sci. 2023 Sep 14;30(1):79. doi: 10.1186/s12929-023-00972-w.
Platelets are small anucleated blood cells primarily known for their vital hemostatic role. Allogeneic platelet concentrates (PCs) collected from healthy donors are an essential cellular product transfused by hospitals to control or prevent bleeding in patients affected by thrombocytopenia or platelet dysfunctions. Platelets fulfill additional essential functions in innate and adaptive immunity and inflammation, as well as in wound-healing and tissue-repair mechanisms. Platelets contain mitochondria, lysosomes, dense granules, and alpha-granules, which collectively are a remarkable reservoir of multiple trophic factors, enzymes, and signaling molecules. In addition, platelets are prone to release in the blood circulation a unique set of extracellular vesicles (p-EVs), which carry a rich biomolecular cargo influential in cell-cell communications. The exceptional functional roles played by platelets and p-EVs explain the recent interest in exploring the use of allogeneic PCs as source material to develop new biotherapies that could address needs in cell therapy, regenerative medicine, and targeted drug delivery. Pooled human platelet lysates (HPLs) can be produced from allogeneic PCs that have reached their expiration date and are no longer suitable for transfusion but remain valuable source materials for other applications. These HPLs can substitute for fetal bovine serum as a clinical grade xeno-free supplement of growth media used in the in vitro expansion of human cells for transplantation purposes. The use of expired allogeneic platelet concentrates has opened the way for small-pool or large-pool allogeneic HPLs and HPL-derived p-EVs as biotherapy for ocular surface disorders, wound care and, potentially, neurodegenerative diseases, osteoarthritis, and others. Additionally, allogeneic platelets are now seen as a readily available source of cells and EVs that can be exploited for targeted drug delivery vehicles. This article aims to offer an in-depth update on emerging translational applications of allogeneic platelet biotherapies while also highlighting their advantages and limitations as a clinical modality in regenerative medicine and cell therapies.