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.

Improving Wound Healing Using the Naturally Occurring Antigen Alpha Gal

Principal Investigator
Jason Spector MD


Joan & Sanford I. Weill Medical College of Cornell University

Funding Mechanism
Pilot Research Grant

Focus Area
Tissue Engineering, Technology Based

Reconstruction of the ear for congenital abnormalities such as microtia or acquired auricular deformity is particularly challenging. The use of shaped autologous rib cartilage demands tremendous technical expertise, causes significant morbidity, and requires pediatric patients to wait several years after birth for treatment. Synthetic materials used for ear reconstruction do not sufficiently mimic the mechanical properties of ear cartilage and are associated with higher rates of infection and extrusion. Given these challenges, there is keen interest in tissue engineering approaches to produce an anatomically shaped ear cartilage framework for transplantation. Previously, we reported on the use of 3D photogrammetry combined with CAD/CAM techniques to design molds with patient-specific geometry for the generation of ear-shaped implants. These molds, in combination with our tissue injection molding techniques and use of high-density collagen gels, enabled the rapid fabrication of implants seeded with bovine auricular chondrocytes in the shape of pediatric human ears. Molded high-density collagen gels are sufficiently stiff to maintain their shape in an animal without the use of materials for internal support. When implanted subcutaneously and harvested after 6 months, implants demonstrated effective permanence; ear implants maintained their shape, demonstrated mechanical functionality indistinguishable from native auricular cartilage, and the seeded chondrocytes produced tissue with copious amounts of type II collagen, proteoglycan, and elastin. Despite these extremely promising data, there remain challenges to surmount prior to clinical application of this technology; specifically, it will require validation of the process using human cells, and a feasible approach to overcome the large 250 million human chondrocyte requirement needed to create a full sized human ear. In this project, we aim to employ a novel cell sourcing strategy using human auricular chondrocytes and human mesenchymal stem cells in vivo in nude mice to determine the ideal minimal cell ratio to produce elastic cartilage. Subsequently, we seek to fabricate full sized human ears with human auricular chondrocytes for in vivo implantation in nude rats. Upon the successful completion of these specific aims, we will have fabricated the world's first full scale, high anatomic fidelity human auricular scaffold and be ready to use this technology for immediate application in the clinic.

Dr. Jason Spector is a nationally recognized clinician, researcher and educator. He holds two patents, and has been an integral part several Cornell University-Weill Cornell Medical College translational research teams. He participates in the NIH and Howard Hughes Medical Institute sponsored Clinical Summer Immersion for Biomedical Engineering Program, mentoring engineering doctoral students. Since 2007, he has been a lecturer at Cornell University's Biomedical Engineering Science and Technology course, "Approaches to Problems in Human Needs." Dr. Spector serves as an Ad-Hoc reviewer for six prestigious medical journals, and has presented at national and international medical meetings. He recently served as Moderator of the Emerging Technologies Section, at the American Surgical Congress in 2011.