Research: Neonatal Craniofacial

Below is a list of some of the cutting-edge clinical and basic science research studies our Neonatal Craniofacial Program team is currently involved in. The goal of these research efforts is to develop a broad, evidence-based approach to the diagnosis, treatment and management of craniofacial disorders.

Clinical outcomes research

Computer-aided surgery (CAD/CAM)

  • CAD/CAM: mandibular distraction, hypertelorism correction, double jaw
  • 3-D analysis of the hemifacial microsomia deformity
  • Volumetric analysis of cranial expansion surgery

Distraction osteogenesis

  • Management of neonatal upper airway obstruction
  • Spring-mediated cranial vault remodeling
  • Posterior vault distraction
  • Cranial bone transport osteogenesis

Craniofacial biology in syndromic synostosis

  • Long-term outcomes in syndromic synostosis
  • The role of the cranial base synchondroses in growth and development
  • Measurements of cranial base shape change with surgical intervention

Basic science research

  • Effects of the FGFR-2 and FGFR-3 mutations in cranial base and cranial vault development
  • Evaluation of stem cell-mediated angiogenesis in large PCL-TCP constructs in implanted nude mice
  • Umbilical cord blood-derived mesenchymal stem cell-based large bone construct engineering
  • Co-implantation of osteogenic and angiogenic stem cells to enhance vascularization of large PCL-TCP scaffold for bone tissue engineering
  • Creation of microspheres for time-controlled release of growth factors
  • Imprinting microspheres onto PCL-TCP and allograft bone scaffolds to produce spheroids
  • Creation of novel electrospun scaffolds for use in periosteal and bone tissue engineering


Obstructive sleep apnea in infants with cleft palate and tongue-based airway obstruction

This prospective cohort study seeks to better understand the impact of craniofacial abnormalities on upper airway obstruction in infants.

The study’s goal is to identify the prevalence of obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS) in infants with either isolated cleft palate or tongue-based obstruction due to micrognathia or retrognathia, and evaluate the contribution of airway size to OSAS and the impact of OSAS on infant development in children with these conditions.

Participation in this observational study includes obtaining a 16-channel overnight polysomnogram (sleep study), a lateral neck radiograph at the time of enrollment and at a six-month follow-up visit, and an outpatient neurodevelopmental assessment.