D. Kacy Cullen, Ph.D.

faculty photo
Research Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery
Department: Neurosurgery
Graduate Group Affiliations

Contact information
Department of Neurosurgery
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
105 Hayden Hall / 3320 Smith Walk
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Office: 215-746-8176
Fax: 215-573-3808
Education:
B.S. (Mechanical Engineering)
Georgia Institute of Technology, 2000.
M.S. (Mechanical Engineering)
Georgia Institute of Technology, 2002.
Ph.D. (Biomedical Engineering)
Georgia Institute of Technology, 2005.
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Description of Research Expertise

Dr. Cullen is a Research Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery at the Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Cullen’s research program operates at the intersection of Neurotrauma and Neural Engineering (http://www.med.upenn.edu/cullenlab/). In the realm of Neurotrauma, the objective is to apply engineering principles to increase our understanding of the causative mechanisms and pathophysiological responses following traumatic injury to the nervous system. Specific attention is given to neural injury biomechanics and mechanisms of acute biophysical cellular/tissue damage. In the arena of Neural Engineering, the objective is to develop neurotechnology to mitigate trauma-induced deficits or augment the body’s capacity for regeneration. Here focus is given to neural tissue engineering strategies and the development of biohybrid neurobiological-electrical interface technology.

Dr. Cullen is currently an active member of the Biomedical Engineering Society, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the National Neurotrauma Society, and the Society for Neuroscience. Dr. Cullen also serves on the editorial board of Critical Reviews in Biomedical Engineering.

Cullen Lab Research Thrusts:

Regenerative Medicine & Neural Tissue Engineering – living scaffolds for neuroregeneration; micro-tissue engineering to restore brain circuitry; biological neuromodulation; “biohybrid” neuroprosthetic interfaces; cell function in 3-D microenvironments; in vitro neural interface microsystems.

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) & Neurodegeneration – biomechanics; cell/tissue injury tolerance criteria; blast injury; traumatic proteinopathies; mechanisms of neurophysiological dysfunction; wireless neuromonitoring technology;

Selected Publications

Struzyna, L.A., Katiyar, K.S., Cullen, D.K.: Living scaffolds for neuroregeneration. Current Opinion in Solid State & Material Science 2014.

Cullen, D. K., Smith D. H.: Bionic connections: living bridges to connect bionic limbs to the nervous system. Scientific American 308(1): 52-7, 2013.

Cullen, D. K., Tang-Schomer, M. D., Struzyna, L. A., Patel, A. R., Johnson, V. E., Wolf, J. A., Smith, D. H.: Micro-tissue engineered constructs with living axons for targeted tract reconstruction. Tissue Engineering (Part A) 18(21-22): 2280-89, 2012.

Cullen, D. K, Browne, K. D., Xu, Y., Adeeb, S., Wolf, J. A., McCarron, R. M., Yang, S., Chavko, M., Smith, D. H.: Blast-induced color change in photonic crystals corresponds with brain pathology. J Neurotrauma 28(11): 2307-18, 2011.

Cullen, D. K., Wolf, J. A., Vernekar, V. N., Vukasinovic, J., LaPlaca, M. C.: Neural tissue engineering and biohybridized microsystems for neurobiological investigation in vitro (part 1). Critical Reviews in Biomedical Engineering 39(3): 201-240, 2011.

Cullen, D. K., Wolf, J. A., Smith, D. H., Pfister, B. J.: Neural tissue engineering for neuroregeneration and biohybridized interface microsystems in vivo (part 2). Critical Reviews in Biomedical Engineering 39(3): 241-259, 2011.

Pfister, B. J., Gordon, T., Loverde, J. R., Kochar, A. S., Mackinnon, S. E., Cullen, D. K.: Biomedical engineering strategies for peripheral nerve repair: surgical applications, state of the art, and future challenges. Critical Reviews in Biomedical Engineering 39(2): 81-124, 2011.

Cullen, D. K., Gilroy, M. E., Irons, H. R., LaPlaca, M. C.: Synapse-to-neuron ratio is inversely related to neuronal density in mature neuronal cultures. Brain Research 1359: 44-55, 2010 Notes: Cover article.

Huang, J.H., Cullen, D.K. (co-first author), Browne, K.D., Groff, R., Zhang, J., Pfister, B.J., Zager, E.L., Smith, D.H. : Long-term survival and integration of transplanted engineered nervous tissue constructs promotes peripheral nerve regeneration. Tissue Engineering (Part A) 15(7): 1677-85, 2009.

Cullen, D. K., Stabenfeldt, S. E., Simon, C. M., Tate, C. C., LaPlaca, M. C.: In vitro neural injury model for optimization of tissue-engineered constructs. J Neurosci Res 85(16): 3642-51, 2007.

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Last updated: 11/20/2014
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