The Plastic Surgery Foundation
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Grants We Funded

Grant applicants for the 2023 cycle requested a total of nearly $4 million dollars. The PSF Study Section Subcommittees of Basic & Translational Research and Clinical Research evaluated nearly 140 grant applications on the following topics:

The PSF awarded research grants totaling over $1 million dollars to support nearly 30 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.

Microfluidic Purification of Adipose-derived Cell Populations

Principal Investigator
Adam Katz MD


The Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia

Funding Mechanism
National Endowment for Plastic Surgery Grant

Focus Area
Technology Based, Tissue Engineering

Adipose tissue is emerging as a valuable and practical source of therapeutically useful cells. Emerging data suggests that fresh uncultured SVF cells can enhance the vascularization, " take" and volume maintenance of fat grafts. The real-time, intraoperative use of these uncultured cells provides certain regulatory advantages, and this may explain in part the growing application of this cell-based therapy on a global scale. However, the SVF (defined herein as freshly isolated, uncultured cells) represents a relatively crude, highly heterogeneous collection of numerous cell types, nearly half of which are leukocytes with undefined activity and benefit. In order to establish standardized methods for reproducible and predictable clinical effect, it would be useful to separate and enrich specific subpopulations of cells from within the crude SVF and to do so in a cheap, practical, efficient and effective manner within the operating room setting. Of the various methods available for cell separation/enrichment, microfluidic technology offers a unique approach to achieving the stated objectives.
We propose to design and validate a versatile microfluidic system that can selectively enrich for specific cell populations from freshly isolated adipose SVF in the point-of-care setting. In Specific Aim 1, we will define protocols for the effective microfluidic handling of fresh SVF cells and design specifications for a cell enrichment microchip to process SVF. In Specific Aim 2, we will test and validate our microchip design with fresh human SVF samples. This first-of-its-kind work will establish the feasibility of using MEMS microfabricated silicon chip technology to improve the accuracy and reliability of adipose-derived cell enrichment, leading to improved therapeutic outcomes for cell-based therapies and decreased medical costs by significantly reducing failed and inconsistent grafts/treatments.

Dr. Katz is an Associate Professor of Plastic Surgery at the University of Virginia, with joint appointments in the Department of Biomedical Engineering and the Department of Medicine. After graduating from Duke University in 1989 with a Bachelor's degree in Neuroscience, Dr. Katz obtained his M.D. from the University of Michigan Medical School, where he was president of the Alpha Omega Alpha National Honor Medical Society as well as a Hewlett-Packard Top Medical Graduate. His next 8 years were spent at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center for General and Plastic Surgery training. While a surgical resident in Pittsburgh, Dr. Katz helped pioneer the conception, detection, description, and early characterization of multipotent stem cells derived from adipose tissue (and is one of only two court-determined inventors on the issued composition-of-matter patent describing such cells). Upon joining the staff at UVA in 2001, Dr. Katz initiated the Laboratory of Applied Developmental Plasticity with a focus on the biology and therapeutic potential of adipose-derived cells and factors. He was awarded The Academic Scholar of the American Association of Plastic Surgeons from 2002-2004, he is a member of The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), The American Association of Plastic Surgeons (AAPS), and The Plastic Surgery Research Council, and serves on the Editorial Board of Annals of Plastic Surgery. Dr. Katz is an original founder of StemSource, Inc, a company based on his pioneering work with adipose stem cells and which is now Cytori Therapeutics (CYTX). In addition to his clinical responsibilities, Dr. Katz is also a co-founder, past president and board member of The International Federation for Adipose Therapeutics and Science (iFATS), as well as a founder and board member of two additional biotechnology companies. His current research funding is from the NIH and the Department of Defense.