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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.

Tendon-Bone Composite Tissue Engineering in a Rabbit Model

Principal Investigator
Grace Graw MD


Palo Alto Institute for Research and Education, Inc.

Funding Mechanism
National Endowment for Plastic Surgery Grant

Focus Area
Hand or Upper Extremity, Tissue Engineering

The current global war on terrorism has revived the topic of gunshot wounds, blast-induced injuries, and motor vehicle accidents in military personnel. Mutilating trauma to the hand and upper extremity is a common consequence. A field survey in Iraq found that over a 23-day period, upper extremity injuries consisted of 57% of injuries suffered by local civilians and 32% of injuries suffered by U.S. soldiers. Injuries to the upper extremity often include all tissue components: skin, subcutaneous tissue, tendons, ligaments, and bone. Specifically, injury to tendons often results in grave disability-transmission of muscle forces across the joints of the wrist and fingers is damaged, obliterating both fine and gross motor function. With increasing prevalence, tendon injures are seen in the military population. These injuries involve tears at the tendon/ligament-bone interface (TBI). Often, reconstruction by tendon-tendon opposition is not feasible secondary to poor tissue quality. For this reason, tendon/ligament-bone approximation is quintessential. Unfortunately, tendon/ligament-bone healing persists as an area of academic challenge. An ideal modular and off-the-shelf solution for these complex tissue injuries has yet to be discovered. As such, we propose the development of biocompatible tendon/ligament-bone constructs to reconstruct composite musculoskeletal defects. In this manner, military surgeons would be able to synchronically debride injured tissue and harvest cell-rich biopsies. At time of debridement, the patient's own cells could be obtained biopsies from the tendon, bone, skin, and fat. Decellularized tissue engineered allografts could then be seeded with the patient's own cells. Large amounts of biocompatible, composite graft material, including the TBI, would then be available for second stage reconstruction, thereby transforming treatment strategies in extremity reconstruction.

Dr. Grace Chiou obtained her undergraduate degree in Biomedical Engineering from the Johns Hopkins University, where she also investigated the pathophysiologic causes of heart failure. After graduating from her undergraduate studies, she spent some time in Mozambique, mentoring street children residing in an orphanage, as well as establishing the first medical clinic in a rural part of the country. Upon returning from Mozambique, she focused her work on clinical outcome studies in the field of trauma surgery. She then went on to attend Harvard Medical School, in addition to continuing her work in surgical outcomes research. Dr. Chiou then decided to pursue residency training in General Surgery at Stanford Hospital and Clinics, where she is currently located. Her research interests lie in the areas of composite tissue engineering, in addition to clinical outcomes studies. Her ultimate goal is to have an academic career in Pediatric Plastic Surgery.