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Kirby Leo

Team Members:
  • Kirby Leo
  • Patrick Byrne, MD
  • Nicholas Durr, PhD
  • Laura Ensign-Hodges, PhD
  • Andrew Lee, MD
  • Warren Grayson, PhD
  • Amir Manbachi, PhD
  • Sarah Lee


Cartilage damage and imperfections in the facial region, especially the nose, drastically affect patient quality of life. Rhinoplasties are performed by facial plastic surgeons using cartilage autografts or allografts to augment the complex 3D nasal structure or contour. Before implantation, cartilage is formed into the desired graft geometry through various techniques of reforming the tissue. Dicing cartilage into <1mm pieces has recently been a technique of interest for nasal contour purposes due to the inherently formable tissue material it produces and markedly lower rate of postoperative complication. Despite these clinical benefits, adoption of the dicing technique to create cartilage grafts is challenged by the fragility of the resulting graft. Bioadhesives, such as fibrin sealants like TISSEEL, are commonly used to hold diced cartilage pieces together, but major limitations with current adhesives include cost and variable results. We propose a novel bioadhesive from accessible autologous and polymeric reagents. Results from materials testing indicate that our bioadhesive has stiffness-tuning properties that may be beneficial for creating various types of rhinoplasty grafts in the operating room and open opportunities to expand processed cartilage techniques to more complex applications.

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