The Plastic Surgery Foundation
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Grants We Funded

In 2019, The Plastic Surgery Foundation (The PSF) awarded 33 investigator-initiated projects and allocated $891,274 to support the newest, clinically relevant research in plastic surgery.

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons/PSF leadership is committed to continuing to provide high levels of investigator-initiated research support to ensure that plastic surgeons have the needed research resources to be pioneers and innovators in advancing the practice of medicine.

Research Abstracts

Search The PSF database to have easy access to full-text grant abstracts from past PSF-funded research projects 2003 to present. All abstracts are the work of the Principal Investigators and were retrieved from their PSF grant applications. Several different filters may be applied to locate abstracts specific to a particular focus area, or PSF funding mechanism.

Neovascularization of Bony Consturcts Using Adipose Tissue-Derived Stem Cells

Principal Investigator
Howard Wang MD


University of Texas, San Antonio

Funding Mechanism
National Endowment

Focus Area
Tissue Engineering

Tissue engineering of bony constructs presents a promising reconstructive option for large bony defects. While the use of bone allograft as a matrix has the advantage of immediate tensile strength, the porosity of polymer matrices is advantageous for cellular ingrowth and nutrient diffusion. The formation of a vascular network is a key factor for the success of larger or less porous bony constructs. Adipose tissue-derived stem cells (ASCs) which can be isolated with minimal donor site morbidity have the ability to differentiate into both osteoblasts and endothelial cells by culture in specific media. In addition, endothelial cells have the potential to populate a matrix and form capillary networks. Since critical-sized rat calvarial defects are a well-established model for testing the osteoregenerative capacity of bone substitutes, this model will be used to evaluate the osteoinductive properties of ASC derived osteoblasts and the effect of ASC derived endothelial cells on those osteoinductive properties in both polymer and bone allograft scaffolds. Specifically, this project seeks to evaluate the following areas in the development of bony constructs from ASCs. (1) Evaluate the ability of ASC derived endothelial cells to populate and form capillary networks in both polymer and calvarial allograft scaffolds. (2) Create bony constructs with viable osteoblasts and a capillary network by co-culturing ASC derived osteoblasts and endothelial cells in polymer and calvarial allograft scaffolds. (3) Compare osteoregenerative capacity of bony constructs containing ASC derived osteoblasts and endothelial cells, ASC derived osteoblasts alone, and matrix/allograft alone.

Dr. Howard T. Wang is Division Chief, Residency Program Director, and Associate Professor for the Division of Plastic Surgery at the University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio. His interest is in microvascular reconstruction of the lower extremity, head and neck and breast. Dr. Wang completed his Plastic Surgery Residency at Duke University Medical Center. While at Duke, Dr. Wang spent 6 months training in Hand Surgery at Kleinert, Kutz, and Associates in Louisville, Kentucky. Prior to this, he completed a General Surgery Residency at the University of Rochester School of Medicine. His education began at Cornell University with a Bachelor of Arts in Biology . Following graduation, he attended Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine where he received his Doctor of Medicine in 1995.