The SIU School of Medicine Microsurgical Surgery Research Laboratory is approximately 1200 square feet located on the third floor of the basic science and teaching facility.
The laboratory is staffed by three full-time research technicians. The lab has two surgical microscopes with double head, one with foot control similar to microscopes in the operating room.
This helps simulate OR situations in teaching medical students and residents. It also has one compound microscope connected with TV and video to observe and record microcirculation studies.
The elective "Introduction to Microsurgery" offered to 3rd and 4th year medical students is taught in this lab by the staff. The lab is equipped with anesthesia equipment etc, to handle various teaching and research studies.
The lab is also equipped for "Burn" research with (special water bath, incubators) thermal and electrical burn devices.
The research efforts of all three laboratories are directed by one of the plastic surgery faculty and managed by a Ph.D. Research Associate Professor. Along with two master-level research assistants, the physicians, residents and fellows conduct on-going projects designed to deliver better clinical treatment and outcomes for our patients. Past and current research projects listed below.
The research area of interest are focused on but not limited to a variety of diverse interests in plastic surgery.
- Outcome studies in nerve compression syndrome
- Surface landmark anatomy
- Burn wound management and outcome
- Breast surgery
Complex reconstruction from cancer ablation, truama or congenital defects offers a daunting challenge to many plastic surgeons.
The reconstruction requires harvesting tissue from a distant site. This can often result in significant donor site compromise. Tissue engineering offers a means of minimizing donor site defects.
Tissue engineering is the process of regenerating or replacing damaged tissues or organs with biological substitutes. The procedure uses the body's own cells or a construct as the building blocks for creating replacement organs that will one day virtually eliminate the idea of organ shortages and organ rejection.
a. Capsule prefabrication/prelamination
b. Cartilage / Ear / Trachea
c. Bone / Mandible
d. Schwann Cell / Nerve
e. Fat Cells
f. Stem Cells
A tissue engineered ear - the cultured cartilage cells have been molded into the shape of an ear. Transported vessels have been incorporated into the new ear through a process called vascular prefabrication. Cartilage pieces are removed from a rat's ear and cultured in the lab giving a sheet of cartilage cells. Simultaneously, a product is made in the abdomian wall.
A silicone block, in the shape of an ear, is placed in this pocket. A large local blood vessel is then moved onto the silicone block and the wounds are closed. After two weeks, a contoured, ear-shaped capsule has formed around the silicone mold. The silicone is removed and the cultured cartilage is placed inside the capsular mold. The cartilage continues to replicate, creating a rigid construct in the shape of an ear.
Ischemia followed by reperfusion leads to severe organ injury and dysfunction. Inflammation is considered to be the most important cause of tissue injury in organs subjected to ischemia.
Areas of study:
a. Effects of Hypothermia
b. Intra and extra cellular calcium
c. Oroxylin A
f. Vitamin E. Succinate
g. VEGF Gene therapy
Microsurgical skills are taught and practiced in the lab. Multiple studies on ischemia reperfusion are conducted to elucidate the nuclear and extranuclear sequence of events in muscle flaps.
Muscle flap viability can be improved with gene manipulation.
Analysis of up and down regulated genes may offer insight into healing processes.
The analysis of tumors will lead to improvements in medical management of these neoplasms.
Burn wound modulation may be possible by gene analysis following superficial and deep skin injury.
Antimicrobial peptides represent a new approach to fighting infection. The age of multi drug-resistant organisms is already here; however, these peptides may allow a new mechanism to combat these bacteria. It is believed that much of the bactericidal results are a result of the formation of multimeric pores that are inserted into the bacterial cell wall, leaching out cell contents.
A hyperbaric chamber is a large, steel tank that administers 100% oxygen in a high pressure environment.
The chamber's specialized atmosphere resembles a deep sea dive with a maximum depth achieved of 16 stories. The effects of treatment are due to an increase in surrounding pressure, and the patient breathing 100 percent oxygen by mask or hood.
This combination of concentrated oxygen and atmospheric pressure causes the blood to carry greater concentrations of oxygen to the area in need of healing.
The hyperbaric oxygen lab is equipped with an animal chamber and experienced personnel. The effect of HBO on ischemia reperfusion and flap physiology is studied.
It is desirable to avoid the use of a nerve graft when large nerve defects are found following trauma. The use of biodegradable tubes with cultured Schwann cells may give surgeons an alternative to a nerve graft.
- Rectus Abdominis for Cardio-revascularization
- Wound Healing
- Denervated Moded Tissue Expander Capsule for Reconstruction of the Bladder