The Plastic Surgery Foundation
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Grants We Funded

Grant applicants for the 2022 cycle requested a total of over $2.9 million dollars. The PSF Study Section subcommittees of Basic & Translational Research and Clinical Research evaluated 115 grant applications on the following topics:

The PSF awarded research grants totaling almost $550,000 to support 19 plastic surgery research proposals.

ASPS/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.

Autologous Fat Grafting for Scleroderma Induced Skin Fibrosis

Principal Investigator
Bahman Guyuron MD


Case Western Reserve University

Funding Mechanism

Focus Area

This study aims to investigate the efficacy of autologous fat grafting for treatment of scleroderma induced skin changes in a mouse model. To date, no cure exists for scleroderma, with a quoted figure of 55% survival at 10 years for the diffuse cutaneous form. Skin changes are characterized by diffuse fibrosis and thickened dermis with profound inflammation. Recent studies have shown that injected adipose tissue has both a volumetric effect and a regenerative effect on dystrophic skin, which has been postulated due to be due to the presence of multipotent mesenchymal stem cells which promote local vascularization and healing. Our hypothesis is therefore that autologous fat grafting will have a beneficial effect on cutaneous manifestations of scleroderma through probable mechanisms which include: a)Neovascularisation and reversal of skin fibrosis through local paracrine signaling by injected adipose cells b)Reversal of inflammatory changes through local paracrine signaling by injected adipose cells c)Downactivation of aberrant SSC fibroblasts and abnormal signaling pathways such as the TGF-B/Smad-CTGF axis We aim to investigate this question through a well-established mouse model of scleroderma, created through serial subcutaneous injections of bleomycin. Autologous fat grafting will be performed, and assays performed which aim at detecting the following: a)Local skin changes: decreased skin thickness, collagen content, tissue fibrosis b)Reversal of typical SSC skin changes: manifestations of inflammation and dermal fibrosis c)Detection of alterations in signaling in the TGF-B/Smad-CTGF axis d)Survival of transplanted fat graft This project has clinical relevance to plastic surgery because fat grafting has potential to result in both a tactile and visual change in skin quality for scleroderma patients, and would be particularly relevant in areas such as the face and hands, which are areas of high aesthetic concern, marking the patient with stigmata.