The Plastic Surgery Foundation
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Grants We Funded

Grant applicants for the 2023 cycle requested a total of nearly $4 million dollars. The PSF Study Section Subcommittees of Basic & Translational Research and Clinical Research evaluated nearly 140 grant applications on the following topics:

The PSF awarded research grants totaling over $1 million dollars to support nearly 30 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.

Controlled Release of Adipogenic Factors to Enhance Fat Graft Ret

Principal Investigator
Arta Kelmendi-Doko MD


University of Pittsburgh

Funding Mechanism

Focus Area

Tissue defects from trauma, tumor resection or congenital malformations require soft tissue repair. Standard care includes free tissue flap transfer, or prosthetic components such as silicone or saline implants. Adipose tissue retention during autologous fat transfer has been one of the major challenges in plastic and reconstructive surgery. One strategy involves the controlled delivery of adipogenic factors, such as insulin and dexamethasone, within the fat graft. This project outlines the novel design and assessment of encapsulated insulin and dexamethasone in poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid), (PLGA) microspheres mixed with lipoaspirate and their adipogenesis effect in vivo, using a combined drug therapy approach. We hypothesize that the slow release of combined insulin and dexamethasone can enhance adipogenesis and angiogenesis, thus retaining the fat graft volume.We expect that the combination of two FDA-approved adipogenic factors will significantly enhance the retention of lipoaspirate during fat grafting, and will be easily translated into clinical trials. Insulin/dexamethasone-loaded PLGA microspheres (Ins/Dex MS) will be prepared using double emulsion/solvent extraction technique. The bioactivity of the drugs will be assessed by mixing the microspheres with human lipoaspirate and injecting subcutaneously into an athymic mouse model. Animals will be divided in 10 groups, 5 animals per group. The first group will contain the highest dose of insulin/dexamethasone MS followed by decrease dose in MS with the last group containing only lipoaspirate with empty microspheres. Samples will be analyzed grossly and histologically after 5 weeks in vivo. We expect to demonstrate that the controlled delivery of adipogenic factors such as insulin and/or dexamethasone via polymer microspheres to significantly affect tissue formation and vascularization. This represents a clinically relevant method of stimulating fat retention in tissue engineering therapies.