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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.

Novel Implantable Optical Oxygen Monitor to Detect Flap Viability

Principal Investigator
Mohamed Ibrahim MD


Duke University Medical Center

Funding Mechanism
Pilot Research Grant

Focus Area
Technology Based

In this proposal, we will use a new oxygen sensing technology to monitor tissue oxygenation in skin flaps. Our approach will be a suitable alternative for the current standard of care methods. This proposal will produce a fast, reliable and cost-effective approach to detect tissue oxygenation
The overall goal of this proposal is to use and validate a novel implantable optical oxygen monitor to detect flap viability.

This proposal has the following specific aims:
Aim 1: To evaluate the ability of the optical oxygen sensing system to detect differences in tissue oxygenation in a rodent model.
Aim 2: Correlation of tissue oxygenation monitor with viability of flaps.
A caudally based skin flap will be created on the dorsum of the rat. Two patterns of sensors will be implanted. For each, 3 groups of rats will be assigned (n=8 per group). Each group will have a different length flap; short, intermediate and long. All the rats will be photographed under excitation light on days 0, 3 and 7. The findings will be correlated with the viability of the flap. To compare our novel approach with current standard of care methods, we will use transcutaneous O2 monitoring postoperatively, we will also inject the rats with indocyanine green dye on days 0, 3 and 7 and the outcome will be analyzed.
Analyses of the flaps will be carried out through planimetry, transcutaneous O2 monitoring, and indocyanine green dye analysis. Histological analysis will include H&E for epithelial thickness and anti-CD31 antibody immune-stain for microvessel density.
The outcome will be correlated to the readings obtained from the pHEMA sensors.
At the conclusion of the study, we expect that the pHEMA oxygen sensors will show intensity that corresponds with the differential tissue oxygenation along skin flaps. We expect that the degree of oxygenation will reflect the degree of tissue perfusion.

Mohamed M. Ibrahim, MD is currently the Senior Research Fellow in the Division of Plastic, Maxillofacial, and Oral Surgery at Duke University and the manager of Dr. Levinson’s laboratory where he has a number of basic science collaborations. Dr. Ibrahim was raised in Cairo, Egypt where he obtained his medical degree from Ain Shams University Faculty of Medicine. Following graduation, Dr. Ibrahim moved to the United States where he started a Plastic Surgery Research Fellowship in the Department of Surgery, Division of Plastic, Maxillofacial, and Oral Surgery at Duke University. There he developed a novel immunocompetent murine burn and hypertrophic scar contracture model (Patented) under the guidance of Howard Levinson, MD, FACS. In addition, Dr. Ibrahim was certified as a Research Animal Coordinator by Duke University in 2014. Dr. Ibrahim is also the founder of, providing educational videos to millions of healthcare professionals worldwide. His 2014 PSF pilot research grant will help developing a novel implantable optical oxygen monitor to detect flap viability under the supervision of Bruce Klitzman, PhD.