The Plastic Surgery Foundation
Log In Donate Now

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.

Neural Stem Cells Improve Muscle Preservation Following Devervation

Principal Investigator
Tateki Kubo


Massachusetts General Hospital

Funding Mechanism
Research Fellowship

Focus Area
Peripheral Nerve

Obstetric brachial plexus palsies are devastating birth injuries with an incidence of 0.5-2.5 per 1000 live births. Twenty to twenty-five percent suffer permanent impairment of the affected limb, resulting in functional paralysis, sensory deficits, as well as deep psychological scars. Treatments continue to be complex, requiring a multidisciplinary approach and often several operative interventions. Nevertheless, prognoses remain very poor in the more severe cases, emphasizing the importance of research in this field. The requirements for functional recovery are (1) that the regenerating axons make functional connections with their original muscle cells and (2) the restoration of the number and size of the motor units in those muscles. A motor unit is a single motor neuron and the group of muscle fibers innervated by it. Chronic muscle atrophy and fibrosis is a problem in situations where there is a prolonged delay of nerve regeneration, since nerves only regenerate at a rate of 1 mm/day. Brachial plexus injuries therefore are at significant risk of progressive, irreversible atrophy of the denervated target muscles. Therefore, to prevent denervation atrophy, we propose that transplanting embryonic stem (ES) cell derived motor neurons (MNs) into denervated muscles can provide trophic support to the muscle by forming neo-neuromuscular junctions and up-regulating specific growth factors until the original nerve fibers regenerate to restore and maximize functional recovery. Preliminary studies in rodent models have shown that at day 7, transplanted motor neurons remain viable in vivo in denervated muscle and are able to maintain muscle mass, consistent with the concept of preventing denervation atrophy (Plast Reconstr Surg, in press). Using a GFPIHB9+ mouse embryonic stem cell line (Cell, 2002), this study will further investigate the potential of ES cell derived MN transplantation. These cells express Green Fluorescent Protein, which auto-fluoresces, when fully differentiated into post-mitotic MNs, thereby allowing us to monitor them both in vitro and in vivo.