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.

Implanted Bioreactor To Direct Development Of Engineered Cartilage

Principal Investigator
John van Aalst MD


The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Funding Mechanism
National Endowment for Plastic Surgery Grant

Focus Area
Technology Based, Tissue Engineering

The fabrication of a bioreactor capable of generating compressive forces and active on-board feedback control to induce a chondrogenic phenotype in an animal model with autologous tissue has not previously been attempted. We plan to create a bioreactor that allows a trackable, non-destructive assessment of engineered tissue in vivo. This proposal also lays the groundwork for studying multiple other parameters that are of interest in generating cartilage (including fibrillin and elastin production, oxygen tension, and calcium concentration). In sum, this project will be part of a larger vision of making significant advances in the fields of tissue engineering, bioreactor construction, and the generation of clinically useful, flexible cartilage initially using a small animal model, and transitioning to a large animal model to complete preclinical trials in anticipation of clinical use.

John van Aalst, MD completed his undergraduate studies and obtained a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from Dartmouth College. He received his medical degree from Vanderbilt University and completed his general surgery training at Case Western Reserve University. While in Cleveland, he spent three years performing research at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation. He completed both his plastic surgery and craniofacial training at Indiana University. He is currently an Associate Professor of Surgery at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Director of Pediatric and Craniofacial Plastic Surgery, and Director of the UNC Craniofacial Fellowship, and Associate Chief of Surgical Services at the UNC Children’s Hospital. Dr. van Aalst is a Past President of the North Carolina Society of Plastic Surgeons and a Past President of the Palestinian Cleft Society. He is currently Chairperson of the International Outreach Committee of the American Cleft Palate Association.