To improve skin flap healing, one promising strategy in reconstructive surgery might be to optimize platelet rich plasma (PRP) bioactivity and the ischemia-altered expression of genes. We studied both the effect of PRP on ischemic flaps, and whether in vivo bioluminescence imaging (BLI) is a suitable method for the longitudinal monitoring of angiogenesis in surgical wounds. Axial murine skin flaps were created in four experimental groups. In vivo measurements of VEGFR2 expression levels were made every other day until the 14th day. The local VEGF level and microvessel density were quantified on the 14th day via ELISA and immunohistochemistry, and flap survival rates were measured. We demonstrated that PRP and induced ischemia have a beneficial influence on angiogenesis and flap healing. Combining the two resulted in a significantly robust increase in angiogenesis and flap survival rate that was corroborated by bioluminescence imaging of VEGFR2 activity. This study shows that angiogenic effects of PRP may be potentialized by the stimulus of induced ischemia during free flap harvesting, and thus the two procedures appear to have a synergistic effect on flap healing. This study further demonstrates that BLI of modulated genes in reconstructive surgery is a valuable model for longitudinal in vivo evaluation of angiogenesis. (c) 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.