Images

Celluar Imaging

Peripheral Nervous System

 
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Integration of a tissue engineered nerve graft (green) with host axons (purple)

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Intertwining host axon (purple) and graft axon (green) following peripheral nerve repair in a rat

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Rat tissue engineered nerve graft (green) attracting regenerating axons (purple)

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Healthy tissue engineered nerve graft cell bodies (green) at two weeks post implant

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Host axons (purple) and tissue engineered nerve graft axons (green) growing through host Schwann cells (red) in the distal nerve segment

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A population of GFP tissue engineered nerve graft axons next to penetrating host axons (purple)

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Regenerating host axons (purple) in the pig

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Regenerating axons (purple) growing along a tissue engineered axonal tract (green) in a pig

Cross-section of rat sciatic nerve showing myelinated axons

Cross-section of rat sciatic nerve showing myelinated axons

Surviving neurons 6 wks post-transplant into rat sciatic nerve with host axonal integration

Surviving neurons 6 wks post-transplant into rat sciatic nerve with host axonal integration

Surviving transplanted axons guiding host axon regeneration

Surviving transplanted axons guiding host axon regeneration

Regenerating peripheral axons growing through tubular Schwann cells

Regenerating peripheral axons growing through tubular Schwann cells

Central Nervous System

 
Reactive astrocytes in the rat cerebellum following blast

Reactive astrocytes in the rat cerebellum following blast

Degenerating cortical neurons following blast exposure

Degenerating cortical neurons following blast exposure

Neurons & astrocytes in the porcine hippocampus

Neurons & astrocytes in the porcine hippocampus

Neurons & astrocytes in the porcine hippocampus

Neurons & axons in the porcine hippocampus

Silver-neutral red stain of the rat cerebral cortex

Silver-stained axons with neutral red counter-stain of the rat cerebral cortex

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Cortical Neurons (red) with plasma membrane damage (cyan)

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Cortical Neurons (red) with plasma membrane damage (yellow)

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Neurons of Dentage Gyrus (red) showing plasma membrane damage (yellow)

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Diffusion Tensor Image (DTI) of human brain with highlighted corticothalamic tract highlighted in red

Nervous Tissue In Vitro

 
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Dorsal root ganglia in a 3D agarose construct

Neuronal networks grown on 3-D multi-electrode arrays

Neuronal networks grown on 3-D multi-electrode arrays

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Dorsal root ganglia form fascicles in vitro

Stereo-image of 3-D neuronal-astrocytic co-cultures after 2 months in culture

Stereo-image of neurons in 3-D culture

Neuron with synapses in 3-D co-culture with astrocytes

Astrocyte mitosis

Brain slice from the porcine hippocampus for electrophysiology

Brain slice from the porcine hippocampus for electrophysiology

Neuron with synapses

Neuron with synapses

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Tissue engineered nerve grafts for peripheral nerve repair

Neuronal network with synapses

Neuronal network with synapses

Small neuronal network

Small neuronal network

Stereo-image of 3-D neuronal-astrocytic co-cultures after 2 months in culture

Stereo-image of 3-D neuronal-astrocytic co-cultures after 2 months in culture

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Micro-tissue engineered neural network for axonal tract repair

Synchronized neurons

Synchronized neurons

A single synapse on the neuron cell body

A single synapse on a neuronal cell body

Electron micrograph of a neuron on a 3-D matrix

Electron micrograph of a neuron on a 3-D matrix

Neurogenesis

Neurons & astrocytes form tight bundles to span 3-D structures

Neurons & astrocytes form tight bundles to span 3-D structures

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Dorsal root ganglia in a 3D agarose construct

Neurons & astrocytes in a 3-D matrix

Neurons & astrocytes in a 3-D matrix

Neurons & astrocytes spanning 3-D multi-electrode towers

Neurons & astrocytes spanning 3-D multi-electrode towers

Neurons within a 3-D matrix

Widespread neurite budding

Widespread neurite budding

 

 

 

 Neurons grown on a conductive polymer micro-fiber

 

 

 

 

 

 

3-D Microscopy

Z-stack of a 3-D neuronal culture

Neuronal network with synapses

Damaged neurons (green) in the rat cortex following blast

Volumetric reconstruction of a 3-D neuronal-astrocytic co-culture

Volumetric reconstruction of a 3-D neuronal-astrocytic co-culture after injury

Cluster of Neurons

 

Contact Information

D. Kacy Cullen, Ph.D
105E Hayden Hall, 3320 Smith Walk
Philadelphia, PA 19104
dkacy@mail.med.upenn.edu

Apply to join the Cullen Lab

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Neurosurgery

News and Events

  • Dr. Cullen and colleague Dr. Douglas Smith were awarded a 3-year grant from the Department of Defense Joint Warfighter Medical Research Program to advance their work for "Repair of Segmental Nerve Defects Using Tissue-Engineered Nerve Grafts."
  • Dr. Cullen was invited to give a research talk at the Center for Translational Injury Research at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston, TX. He presented “Tissue Engineered Nerve Grafts for Peripheral and Central Nervous System Repair”.
  • The Cullen Lab was awarded a one-year pilot grant through the Penn Medicine Neuroscience Center to explore "Neuromodulation of Brain Circuits Using Transplantable Micro-Tissue Engineered Neural Networks."
  • James Harris, Ph.D., was awarded an NIH NRSA Postdoctoral Fellowship on the "Brain Injury Training Grant" through Penn's Center for Brain Injury & Repair. Dr. Harris' project is on "Mechanisms of Biophysical Responses and Neurodegeneration following Concomitant Blast and Inertial Traumatic Brain Injury."
  • Dr. Cullen gave a lecture at the American Society for Peripheral Nerve Annual Meeting in Kauai, Hawaii in January. The talk was titled "Tissue Engineered Grafts Accelerate Peripheral Nerve Repair By Direct Axon-Induced Axon Regeneration."
  • Laura Struzyna was a Poster Award Finalist at the Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine International Society Annual Meeting in Atlanta, Georgia in November. Her poster was titled "Tissue Engineered Grafts Accelerate Peripheral Nerve Repair By Direct Axon-Induced Axon Regeneration."
  • Dr. Cullen gave an Invited Lecture at the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology in May. He presented "Tissue Engineering Strategies to Restore Neural Circuitry and Create Living Scaffolds for Targeted Axonal Regeneration."
  • Dr. Cullen and collaborator Dr. Douglas Smith were awarded funding from the Department of Defense through the Rutgers - Cleveland Clinic Consortium of the Armed Forces Inst. of Regenerative Medicine. This project will investigate the efficacy of novel tissue engineered constructs encased in custom-built nerve guidance tubes to promote nerve regeneration following major peripheral nerve injury.
  • Bioengineering Ph.D. Candidate, Laura Struzyna, was selected for a prestigious 3-year Graduate Research Fellowship through the National Science Foundation based on her proposal for "Tissue Engineered Constructs for Neural Regeneration."

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