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.

Biofilm Removal from Prosthetics

Principal Investigator
Gary Tuma MD FACS


Thomas Jefferson University

Funding Mechanism
Pilot Research Grant

Focus Area
General Reconstructive, Technology Based

Biofilm covering of prosthetics has resulted in the loss of multiple implanted devices used in orthopaedic procedures such as knee replacements or hip replacements. Biofilm, an aggregate of microorganisms which then produce a protective matrix of DNA, protein and polysaccharides, adheres to the prosthesis and provides protection to the bacteria from immune system defenses as well as antimicrobials. The eradication of these biofilms from implanted hardware has been a topic of research. When implants are coated in these biofilms, they result in an infection in the surrounding tissue cause joint infections thus resulting in an increased morbidity, multiple surgeries for washouts and a dramatic increase in health care spending. By eradicating these biofilms, we believe the rate of infection resulting from bioprosthesis will decrease. We believe that there is a device currently available that can penetrate and remove biofilm on prosthetic material without damaging the device. This device, the VersaJet uses hydrodissection to lift the biofilm off the surface without damaging the underlining materials. We propose to test the product in an in-vitro model using titanium disks.

Gary A. Tuma, MD is currently an assistant clinical professor of surgery at Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He had previously done research during his general surgical training in stem cell biology, tissue engineering and fat grafting at the University of Pennsylvania with Dr. Louis P. Bucky. He had been a previous recipient of a PSEF grant for research involving fat grafting and preadipocytes while working with Dr. Bucky. After completing his plastic surgical training at Emory University, he joined the practice of Drs. Fox, Moore and Copit, where he has been in practice for the past five years. His research interests still involve tissue engineering and stem cell biology but since in practice, he has been involved in more clinical studies involving breast reconstruction and orthopedic wound reconstruction.This interest has lead to a keen interest in infection and hardware. Specifically the ability to remove biofilm with the salvage of infected hardware using Versajet technology. Through this research he is hoping to show the ability of the Versajet device to aid in the removal of biofilm. This in turn should promote the ability to salvage infected hardware while not injuring the hardware surface or the incorporation of the hardware in the human body.