PittPharmacy graduate student Firuz Feturi presented her research work entitled “Tacrolimus-Eluting Biomaterials within Allograft Enable Vascularized Composite Allograft Survival with Locoregional Immunosuppression without Systemic Toxicity” at the Plastic Surgery Research Council meeting in April 2019. This study focused on developing a loco-regional immunosuppression strategy using a drug-eluting biomaterial that can be placed within transplanted graft that can release tacrolimus, a potent immunosuppressive drug, in a controlled manner and deliver the drug to the allograft over a prolonged period.  The efficacy of such a delivery system in inhibiting the immune response, in preventing rejection, and in sustaining vascularized composite allografts (VCA) survival without systemic side effects or additional systemic immunosuppression was evaluated. The results showed that there was a profound survival benefit of delivering tacrolimus within the graft as compared to delivery at a remote site. These observations establish the basis for further investigation of long term loco-regional immunosuppression in clinical VCA

The Plastic Surgery Research Council is an organization focused on stimulating fundamental research in plastic surgery. With a history dating back to the 1950’s, the PSRC has established itself as a reputable society within the specialty of plastic surgery

Feturi is a fifth-year clinical pharmaceutical science PhD candidate at the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy. Professor Raman Venkataraman, PhD is her faculty advisor and Dr. Mario Solari, MD is her Co-mentor.

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