Louisville, KY (October 22, 2012) -The Christine M. Kleinert Institute for Hand and Microsurgery (CMKI), a world-renowned nonprofit education and research organization, and the Cardiovascular Innovation Institute (CII), an internationally established research enterprise created to understand the mechanisms of heart, peripheral vascular and microcirculatory disease, have partnered to conduct a research study exploring how belly fat might help make hand transplantation safer for children.
“Approximately a third of the patient inquiries about hand transplantation come from parents asking for a child,” says CMKI Executive Director Christina L. Kaufman, PhD. “Many children need a transplant due to limb loss from trauma or congenital defects. We’re hoping we can help them one day after we figure out how to reduce or eliminate the need for lifelong drug therapy that is currently required if the child were to receive a new hand.”
The study is based on the fact that cells isolated from normal belly fat can be used to help a hand transplant heal better and quiet the body’s immune response to the transplanted tissue. An animal model where transplants of a portion of skin and muscle from the upper leg, is treated with cells isolated from the belly fat of rats is underway. The experiment will determine if these fat derived cells can help the transplanted tissue heal and reduce the requirement for anti-rejection drugs. If successful these studies would lay the foundation for the use of a child’s own fat tissue to control rejection and allow doctors to transplant hands in children with little or no drugs needed.
This study is funded through the generosity of Kosair Charities. CII Executive Director Dr. Stu Williams and Chief of the Division of Cardiovascular Therapeutics Dr. Jay Hoying are working with Dr. Joseph Kutz, Dr. Christina Kaufman and hand surgery fellows Dr. Jiyan He, Dr. Bahar Basarri, Dr. Antonio Rampazzo and Dr. Han Dong on the project.
About the Cardiovascular Innovation Institute
The main goal of the Cardiovascular Innovation Institute is to foster a world-class collaborative, integrated, multi-disciplinary enterprise encompassing basic, translational, and clinical and population research in cardiovascular disease, which affects individuals throughout their entire lifespan, from pre-natal life to death. This is also the goal of the National Institutes of Health and has been identified as the most important area of medical research for the next decade. The Institute is a state-of-the-art research institute. Our unique integrated structure promotes a rapid clinical problem-solving process – and the intellectual property generated through innovative research stays here – in Louisville. Generating not only revolutionary advances in medical technology, but also spurring economic growth through the creation of new businesses sets the CII apart as a new standard for innovation. CII is located at 302 E. Muhammad Ali Blvd. For more information, please call (502) 852-1381 or visit cv2i.org.
About the Christine M. Kleinert Institute for Hand and Microsurgery
This mission of CMKI is excellence in education and research. The next generation of hand surgeons is trained through CMKI’s ACGME-accredited fellowship program, which is a cooperative effort with the University of Louisville School of Medicine. The Hand Fellows arrive as fully trained plastic, orthopedic, or general surgeons from around the world who come to Louisville to get additional training in hand and microsurgery. To date, more than 1,200 physicians from 61 countries have received training in hand surgery. Our graduates have gone on to become chairman of departments, presidents of national and international societies, and leaders in the field of hand surgery. Dr. Huey Tien is the Program Director of the fellowship program. The true backbone of CMKI is the surgeons of the Kleinert Kutz Hand Care Center. Starting with Dr. Kutz and Dr. Kleinert, and continuing to this very day, research done by the faculty of CMKI is an integral part of the Institute. A number of WORLD firsts have occurred here, always in conjunction with the hand surgery fellowship and benefiting from the energy and motivation of eager young surgeons. Dozens of research projects, from our world renowned hand transplant program to refining surgical techniques, testing new devices and pushing the frontiers of basic and clinical science in the field of hand surgery are continuously underway at CMKI.
In addition to CMKI’s Fellowship and Research programs, the Institute also provides patient rehabilitation services after surgery and patient recovery services. For more information on any issue regarding the Institute or to help support CMKI with a tax-deductible donation, please visit www.cmki.org or call (502) 562-0310.