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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.

Hemifacial Composite Allotransplantation Model for Nerve Regeneration Assessment

Principal Investigator
Samir Mardini MD


Mayo Clinic

Funding Mechanism
National Endowment for Plastic Surgery Grant

Focus Area
Composite Tissue Allotransplantation

Introduction:Facial Vascularized tissue allotransplantation (VCA) advances a new frontier in regenerative reconstructive surgery for complex facial injuries, offering superior anatomical reconstruction. This complex procedure has an invaluable potential in select patients to restore human appearance, subsequent social integration and critical facial organ function. There is a dearth of translational evidence and neurophysiological studies to assess functional outcomes in facial CTA. There is critical gap in knowledge on evaluation of axonal regeneration, target re-innervation and functional recovery and a need to develop large animal pre-clinical models to assess functional outcomes in facial transplantation. Objectives: 1) Validate a composite vascularized hemi-facial transplantation model for allotransplantation in a swine model; 2) Evaluate the postoperative course of nerve regeneration by non-invasive electrophysiological techniques and functional recovery and 3) Evaluate fascicle nerve regeneration and muscle re-innervation in a swine hemi-facial VCA model. Methods: Twelve mini-pigs (Sinclair) will be used to perform six hemi-facial allotransplantation procedures including the auricle, parotid gland, muscles, and facial nerve branches as per our previous auto-transplant design. One animal will undergo an auto-transplant as previously described for documentation of nerve regeneration over the 180 day study period. One animal will not receive immunosuppression and serve as a control. Immunosuppression will be administered by tacrolimus and mycophenolate mofetil orally for 2 weeks, with daily doses adjusted to maintain appropriate blood levels. The transplanted hemi-facial will be monitored daily by clinical assessment, and using digital photography. Furthermore serial skin biopsies will be taken following transplant and open biopsies of the allograft will be taken at monthly to inspect the entire allograft and evaluate the musculoskeletal components. The immunosuppression protocol will then be titrated for subsequent animals based on the initial response, Nerve conduction studies (CMAP and ENG) will be serially assessed up to 6 months. Conclusion: A large pre-clinical animal model to assess motor nerve regeneration, targeted muscle re-innervation and functional recovery in the context of facial VCA will provide new knowledge, support work on the impact of immunosuppressive and adjunct therapies that can inform future clinical protocols.

Dr. Mardini is a Professor of Surgery and Chair of the Division of Plastic Surgery at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. Dr. Mardini is Program Director, Division of Plastic Surgery; Director, Facial Paralysis and Reanimation Clinic; Co-Director Cleft and Craniofacial Clinic and Surgical Director for the Essam and Dalal Obaid Center for Reconstructive Transplant Surgery. Dr. Mardini completed his general surgery and plastic surgery residency at Georgetown University. He then completed a one-year Craniofacial Fellowship, a two-year Reconstructive Microsurgery Fellowship, and two years in an academic plastic surgery position before joining the staff at Mayo Clinic. Dr. Mardini's practice focuses on microsurgical reconstruction and craniofacial reconstruction. Dr. Mardini has published over 120 peer reviewed papers, 20 book chapters, and three books. Dr. Mardini is an editorial Board member and Guest Editor for Seminars in Plastic Surgery, Editorial Board Member for Microsurgery, and manuscript reviewer for Microsurgery, Surgery, Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, and Seminars in Plastic Surgery. He is on the Council of the American Society of Reconstructive Microsurgery and the World Society of Reconstructive Microsurgery. Dr. Mardini is a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgery, a founding member of the American Society for Reconstructive Transplantation and the World Society of Reconstructive Microsurgery.