Grants We Funded
In 2019, The Plastic Surgery Foundation (The PSF) awarded 33 investigator-initiated projects and allocated $891,274 to support the newest, clinically relevant research in plastic surgery.
The American Society of Plastic Surgeons/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.
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.
Reversibility of Age-Related Effects on Nerve Regeneration
Daniel Demsey MD
The Hospital for Sick Children
AAPS/PSF Research Grant
Hand or Upper Extremity, Tissue Engineering
Injuries to the peripheral nervous system cause significant pain and loss of function. Recovery after injury is particularly guarded in elderly patient populations due to decreased rates of nerve healing. Our research will use heterochronic parabiosis, the surgical attachment of two mice of different ages to create a shared blood supply, to study the problem of age-related decline in peripheral nerve healing. We hope to show that by being exposed to cells and nutrients present in the young animal's blood that we will be able to improve nerve healing in the aged mouse. This approach has demonstrated reversibility in age-related decline in a number of areas of human function, including heart, muscle, and the brain. If similar effects can be demonstrated in nerves we may be able to isolate the components of blood responsible and isolate them as therapy.
Parabiotic pairings of young and old mice will be created, as well as young/young and old/old groups for comparison. After an appropriate period of healing, a nerve crush injury will be induced in one partner. The nerve will be given two weeks to heal, and then tissue will be harvested for analysis. Measures of nerve healing routinely performed in our lab (retrograde neuronal labeling and histomorphometry) will be applied to assess extent of healing in all groups, which will then be compared. We will also investigate whether performing bone marrow transplants on the old animals with young marrow results in improved nerve healing in a similar fashion.
If we are successful in producing the improvements in nerve healing in aged mice, we will then explore the underlying mechanisms. Isolating the compounds responsible could lead to a revolutionary new therapy for nerve injury in elderly patients.
Dr. Daniel Demsey is a resident in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at the University of British Columbia. He is pursuing a research fellowship through the Clinician Investigator Program at the Hospital for Sick Children, an affiliate hospital with the University of Toronto. He is a graduate of Queen's University Medical School and the Department of Chemical Engineering. He is also pursuing a Master's in Biomedical Engineering with the Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Toronto.