The Plastic Surgery Foundation
Log In Donate Now

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.

Combining Human Pre-Adipocytes and Biological Scaffolds for Fat Engineering

Principal Investigator
Karol Gutowski MD, FACS


University of Wisconsin

Funding Mechanism
National Endowment

Focus Area
Tissue Engineering

Plastic surgeons replace tissues which have been lost secondary to trauma, malignancy, or other disease processes. Therefore, surgeons would benefit from having available engineered tissues which can be used to replace missing tissue such as bone, cartilage, and fat. Currently, autologous adipose tissue is used as a graft to correct deformities but this technique has limited success because graft survival and quality is unpredictable. There are many factors likely responsible for graft loss including lack of vasculogenesis, mechanical disruption, lipid induced membrane damage, apoptosis, and lack of a mechanical scaffold. One useful strategy to obtain adipose tissue for reconstruction is to employ tissue engineering principles. Adipose-derived adult stem cells (ADAS) or pre-adipocytes can be isolated from the stromal vascular fraction (SVF) of adipose tissue, and then combined with biological scaffolds and growth factors to form constructs suitable for implantation. We propose to use polyethylene-glycol (PEG) as the biological scaffold because of its favorable mechanical properties. Our long term goal is to better understand the interactions between pre-adipocytes and biological scaffolds which can lead to engineered adipose tissue. The specific aims of the current proposal are to manipulate the interactions between the PEG scaffold and human pre-adipocytes to induce adipose tissue formation first in vitro. Once experimental conditions have been optimized in vitro, we will place the human pre-adipocytes / PEG scaffold in vivo in a nude mouse model. According to the ASPS, 5.4 million reconstructive procedures were performed in the United States in 2005. Plastic surgeons would benefit from having reliable methods of engineering adipose tissue for use in reconstructive and cosmetic procedures. Our project combines specialists in tissue engineering, angiogenesis, and plastic surgery. We propose to use easily available and hearty adipose derived stem cells combined with a scaffold to accomplish this goal.