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.

Side-to-Side Nerve Grafting to Enhance Nerve Regeneration

Principal Investigator
Gregory Borschel MD


The Hospital for Sick Children

Funding Mechanism

Focus Area

Severe peripheral nerve injuries often leave patients with longstanding pain, paralysis and numbness. Longer distances to the target end organs produce worse outcomes. We have recently found that a novel strategy of side-to-side nerve grafting leads to improved regeneration: conducting very small numbers of fibers from an intact donor nerve to an adjacent injured recipient nerve results in enhanced regeneration of the recipient nerve. Very few axons are required to enter the recipient denervated nerve stump to exert the protective effect, suggesting that soluble chemical mediators are likely to play a role. The overarching hypothesis of this proposal is that donor axons sustain the growth permissive state of Schwann cells (SC) in the denervated stump. We will assess this hypothesis by testing the following sub-hypotheses: 1. The protective effect of side-to-side nerve grafts increases with the number of grafts, and that bridging axons regenerate both proximally and distally within the recipient injured nerve. We will use our novel transgenic rats whose axons fluoresce to examine whether the axons regenerate both proximally and distally within the recipient injured nerve. We will also examine using retrograde labeling of neurons the relationship between number of grafts and the magnitude of the protective effect. 2. Locally produced soluble factors from regenerating axons promote SC differentiation and/or proliferation, thus mediating protection of chronically denervated stumps. We will examine whether leading candidate molecules produced by neurons including calcitonin gene related peptide and neuregulin are the prime mediators of protection by blocking their actions with siRNA in vivo. This discovery will likely alter the paradigm by which surgeons will reconstruct devastating proximal injuries. Clinical use of the technique will be optimized by detailed knowledge of its mechanism.