The UNC Plastic Surgery Division conducts research in a broad spectrum of clinical and basic science fields. UNC plastic surgeons strive on every level to contribute to tomorrow’s medical community, whether they are examining the fundamental properties of stem cells, exploring the limits of modern surgical techniques in our hospitals or working to improve the quality of care in developing areas abroad.
Objective: To provide robust soft tissue coverage of tissue engineered bone created from fat and craniofacial bone-derived stem cells. Tissue engineered bone is being created in the lab at North Carolina State University, and the soft tissue is harvested from patients undergoing craniofacial surgery such as cleft lip and palate repair.
Objective: Our goal is to grow stem cells on nanofiber scaffolds for the engineering of multiple tissue types. Blood of the umbilical cord is the largest source of untapped embryonic-like stem cells. Nanofibers are small fibers (between 10 and 1000 nanometers) made from different biodegradable, natural and synthetic compounds.
Objective: Identify the molecular reasons that heterotopic ossification occurs in burn patients at the elbow. Physicians do not know the cause, but heterotopic ossification (bone at ectopic sites) remains a risk for burn patients. The elbow is a predictable site for this type of bone formation.To understand this process may help eliminate heterotopic ossification in burn patients, and more importantly, may help us improve bone growth in areas where bone is absent.