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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 Human Tendon Tissue Engineering: Ultrasonication

Principal Investigator
James Chang MD


Stanford University

Funding Mechanism
National Endowment for Plastic Surgery Grant

Focus Area
Hand or Upper Extremity, Tissue Engineering

The research objective is to translate previous work on flexor tendon tissue engineering in the rabbit model to human cases. We have established that acellularized tendon provides a viable scaffold. Now, we hope to enhance recellularization by increasing intratendinous cell penetration. Specific goals are to: 1) Compare the microarchitectural properties of sonicated acellularized human flexor tendon. 2) Compare recellularization rates of sonicated versus unsonicated acellular tendon. 3) Compare the mechanical properties of sonicated-reseeded tendons with controls. The eventual aim is to allow translation to select human cases by using tissue-engineered tendon constructs for tendon reconstruction in mutilating hand injuries.
Human flexor tendons will be harvested and preserved. Acellularization is performed with SDS, Triton x-100, and freeze-thaw cycles to minimize antigenicity.
Tendons will be divided and immersed in PBS. Pulsed sonication is performed at power settings ranging from 90W to 465W for a total sonication time of 1min.
Primary cultures of dermal fibroblasts and adipoderived stem cells will be expanded in culture and seeded at a density of 2x106 cells/cc. Seeding efficacy will be determined by H&E microscopy, cytostaining, and quantitative analysis of collagen I & III.
A human tissue bioreactor providing uniaxial tendon strain will subject tendons to a stretch force 5N over a 5 day course at 1cycle/min in alternating 1 hour periods of loading and rest. The specimens will undergo tensile testing to compare ultimate tensile stress and elastic modulus.
With these techniques, surgeons could remove patient cells and allow cells to proliferate in culture while the patient is stabilized. Banked cadaver allograft tendons can be acellularized and seeded with the patient's cells. When extremity reconstruction is undertaken, large amounts of biocompatible tendon would be available. This would create a tissue bank of biocompatible allograft tendons.

Dr. James Chang is currently Professor and Chief of the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at Stanford University. Dr. Chang graduated from Stanford University with a Bachelor of Arts and Sciences with joint degrees in Biology and Economics. He spent a year as a lecturer in English at the Beijing University of Science and Technology in Beijing, People’s Republic of China. Following this, he graduated from Yale Medical School with Alpha Omega Alpha and Cum Laude honors. From 1991 to 1993, he was a Sarnoff Laboratory Research Fellow at the University of California, San Francisco Medical Center. He then completed a residency in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at Stanford University Medical Center. Dr. Chang was a Clinical Instructor in Orthopedic Surgery and the Hand & Microsurgery Fellow at U.C.L.A. Medical Center from 1999-2000. He is currently Professor of Plastic Surgery and Orthopedic Surgery at Stanford University Medical Center. He is also an Attending Surgeon at Lucile Salter Packard Children's Hospital and the VA Palo Alto Health Care System, where he serves as Director of the Plastic and Hand Surgery Laboratory. His basic science research interests include modulation of Transforming Growth Factor-Beta in scarless flexor tendon wound healing and tissue engineered flexor tendon grafts for hand reconstruction. He has expertise in molecular biology and tissue engineering techniques and their applications to plastic and hand surgery research. Dr. Chang is the recipient of numerous grants including two recent multi-year Federal Merit Review Awards on "Tissue Engineered Flexor Tendon Grafts for Extremity Reconstruction" and "Optimization of Bioengineered Tendons Using Bioreactors and Stem Cells". Dr. Chang is the past Editor-in-Chief of the Yearbook of Hand Surgery and an Associate Editor for the journals, Journal of Hand Surgery, Annals of Plastic Surgery, Hand, and Microsurgery. He was the Royal College of Surgeons Foundation traveling fellow and was awarded the 2006 Sterling Bunnell Traveling Fellowship by the American Society for Surgery of the Hand. He is Research Director for the American Society for Surgery of the Hand and manages the grant portfolio and programs of this national organization. He is a member of the Plastic Surgery Residency Review Committee of the ACGME. Dr. Chang's main surgical interests are in reconstructive surgery of the hand and extremities including microsurgical reconstruction. He also has interest in pediatric hand and microsurgery, post-oncologic head and neck reconstruction, and lower extremity reconstruction.