The Plastic Surgery Foundation
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Grants We Funded

In 2019, The Plastic Surgery Foundation (The PSF) awarded 33 investigator-initiated projects and allocated $891,274 to support the newest, clinically relevant research in plastic surgery.

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons/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.

Regenerative Capacity of Skin Micrografts

Principal Investigator
Edward Caterson MD PhD


Brigham and Women's Hospital

Funding Mechanism

Focus Area

Our group has developed a new way to regenerate skin after major burns and other trauma. The basis for this leap forward is that we have developed technology to significantly expand the surface area of skin available for regeneration compared to conventional skin grafting technology. Creating a device to mince skin into small skin micrografts we are able to release migratory cells into the healing milieu. Using this controlled mincing technology a split thickness skin graft can be reliably expanded over one hundred fold in the operating room within minutes from harvest. In pilot wound experiments, we created micrografts (0.8 x 0.8 mm) consisting of epidermis and dermis and transplanted these micrografts into full thickness wounds with an expansion ratio of over 1 to 100 of micrograft to total wound surface area. In these pilot studies 100 % epidermal healing was achieved within 14 days in healthy, as well as diabetic pigs, compared to 62 % and 49 % respectively in healthy and diabetic controls, proving that the regenerative capacity of the skin graft far exceeds what is harnessed in current clinical practice. We have also found that in moist environments the orientation of the micrograft, dermal side up or down, intriguingly is not dependent upon the initial orientation of the skin micrograft within the wound bed. In this proposed research project, we plan to build upon this technology platform by determining the most favorable size of a micrograft to optimize the skin micrograft's regenerative capacity. Moreover, we want to apply this optimized micrograft size to determine the maximum possible expansion ratio of micrograft to total wounded surface area needed to regenerate a full-thickness wound. Early clinical results have confirmed the utility of this method in the treatment of large burn injuries and other complex wound scenarios.