Penn Comprehensive Neuroscience Center

Faculty Members
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D. Kacy Cullen, Ph.D.

Research Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery
Department: Neurosurgery

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
Graduate Group Affiliations
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.
Post-Graduate Training
Post-Doctoral Researcher in Neural Engineering, Laboratory for Neuroengineering, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, 2005-2006.
Post-Doctoral Fellow (NRSA) in Neurotrauma and Neural Engineering, Center for Brain Injury and Repair, Department of Neurosurgery, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania , 2007-2008.
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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:

NEUROTRAUMA – conventional and blast-induced traumatic brain injury (TBI); neural cell/tissue biomechanics; injury tolerance criteria; mechanisms of acute neuronal failure and dysfunction; peripheral nerve injury; modeling traumatic neural injury in vitro and in vivo;

NEURAL TISSUE ENGINEERING - biomimetic 3-D neural constructs; scaffold optimization; cell function in 3-D microenvironments; repair/regeneration following traumatic neural injury; targeted nerve regeneration;

BIOHYBRID NEURAL INTERFACE MICROSYSTEMS – neural prosthetic interfaces; living tissue engineered neural-electrical relays; 3-D fluidically/electrically-active microbioreactors.

Selected Publications

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.

Cullen, D. K., Xu, Y., Reneer, D. V., Browne, K. D., Geddes, J. W., Yang, S., Smith, D. H.: Color changing photonic crystals detect blast exposure. NeuroImage 54S1: S37-S44, 2011 Notes: 2010 E-Pub; Featured in Science (Editor’s Choice), Technology Review, UPI, Newsworks, Wired, The Engineer.

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., Patel, A.R., Doorish, J.F., Smith, D.H., Pfister, B.J.: Developing a tissue engineered neural-electrical relay using encapsulated neuronal constructs on conducting polymer fibers. J Neural Eng 5(4): 374-84, 2008 Notes: Cover article.

LaPlaca, M. C., Simon, C. M., Prado, G. R., Cullen, D. K.: CNS injury biomechanics and experimental models. Prog Brain Res 161: 13-26, 2007.

Cullen, D. K., Vukasinovic, J., Glezer, A., Laplaca, M. C.: Microfluidic engineered high cell density three-dimensional neural cultures. J Neural Eng 4(2): 159-72, 2007.

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: 11/21/2012
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