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.

The Development of Strategies to Optimize Autogenous Fat Grafting

Principal Investigator
Stephen Baker MD


Georgetown University

Funding Mechanism
National Endowment

Focus Area
General Reconstructive

Soft tissue augmentation is frequently used in plastic surgery, and while autogenous fat grafts offer many ideal properties, its volume maintenance has proven unpredictable and temporary. Multiple clinical techniques and strategies have been proposed to minimize fat graft resorption, employing variations in harvesting, processing, donor site, and fat storage. Current clinical strategies are largely based on anecdotal evidence. The goal of this project is to systematically analyze the critical steps in clinical fat grafting at the histologic and molecular biological levels, in order to produce rigorous, objective findings that can drive clinical fat grafting protocols and strategy. Using specialized histological/immunochemical staining techniques, a refined animal model of autogenous fat grafting, and novel imaging modalities, we will analyze and evaluate strategies that have been suggested to improve the efficacy and safety of autogenous fat grafting. The specific aims of this project are: (1) to compare the various fat harvesting and processing techniques that are used in clinical practice, to attempt to identify those technique(s) that yield maximal efficacy and safety to the patient; (2) to evaluate fat obtained from different anatomic sites, to determine whether regional donor site differences affect later fat graft resorption; and (3) to analyze various storage methods for fat grafts, including conventional refrigeration, storage in cell media, as well as experimental fluorohydrocarbon-based strategies that can augment stored graft tissue oxygenation. Ultimately, this project will attempt to identify those techniques in current clinical practice that can offer the patient the most efficacious and most safe outcomes. The demand for soft tissue augmentation is rising sharply, and autogenous fat grafting will always be a prime tool in the armament of the plastic surgeon. Through the systematic evaluation of the clinical techniques currently in use, this project will identify optimal clinical strategies through investigation at the biochemical and histological levels. Most important, the findings of this study will have immediate clinical impact, and can guide optimal and safe clinical practices in autogenous fat grafting.