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.

Optimization of Non-Vascularized Grafting in Irradiated Bone

Principal Investigator
Alexis Donneys MD


University of Michigan

Funding Mechanism
National Endowment for Plastic Surgery Grant

Focus Area
Cranio / Maxillofacial / Head and Neck, Tissue Engineering

Vascularized free tissue transfers exemplify the pinnacle of our current reconstructive capabilities, and the gold-standard management option for mandibular defects post-radiotherapy; however, these operations continue to be fraught with significant debilitating morbidities. In these procedures, soft tissue and bone are harvested on a vascular pedicle from distant donor sites and transferred to the affected area to provide the substrate for reconstruction. These complex microvascular operations are costly, resource intensive, and are characterized by high complication rates. Further, significant associated risks often preclude their use in the elderly and infirm. A less invasive and innovative reconstructive method that would eliminate the need for microsurgery and minimize donor site morbidity is therefore highly sought after.
Non-vascularized bone grafts provide a formidable alternative means for reconstruction since they remove the need for extensive tissue dissection and vessel anastomosis. However, the use of these methods is currently eschewed due to the deleterious effects of radiation. The pathologic effects of radiation on bone formation and healing are mediated through the mechanisms of vascular damage, direct cellular depletion and diminished function of the existing cells responsible for the generation and maintenance of osteogenesis. Because of this, previous attempts to utilize non-vascularized bone grafts in irradiated beds have been largely unsuccessful.
The aim of this proposal is to therapeutically reverse the damaging effects of radiation on bone formation and healing to enable the utility of non-vascularized bone grafting in irradiated tissues. Utilizing a novel rodent model of mandibular bone grafting developed in our laboratory, and established standard outcome measures, we will quantify metrics of diminished graft take and bone healing in response to radiation treatment. Subsequently, we propose to use deferoxamine-an angiogenic stimulant, and adipose derived stem cells-a cellular replacement filler, to reverse these radiation-induced detriments. We hypothesize that the addition of our proposed therapies, will evidence quantifiable degrees of remediation on the process of graft incorporation and bone healing. We believe that the fundamental information on the optimization of non-vascularized bone grafting in the irradiated mandible provided by this work has immense potential to be rapidly translated from the bench to the bedside.