Sarah Elizabeth Gullbrand

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Research Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery
Department: Orthopaedic Surgery

Contact information
Corporal Michael J. Crescenz VA Medical Center
3900 Woodland Ave.
Research, A214
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Office: 203-260-3089
BS (Biomedical Engineering)
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute , 2009.
PhD (Biomedical Engineering)
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute , 2014.
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Description of Research Expertise

I am currently a Research Scientist in the Translational Musculoskeletal Research Center at the Corporal Michael J. Crescenz VA Medical Center, with a co-appointment as a Research Assistant Professor in the McKay Orthopaedic Research Laboratory in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Pennsylvania. My general research interests include cross-talk between the intervertebral disc and adjacent spinal tissues (including the vertebral bone and facet joints) during degeneration, regenerative therapeutics for the treatment of disc degeneration, and novel non-invasive imaging modalities for orthoapedic tissues. As a graduate student, I was awarded a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship to pursue my thesis research on enhancing intervertebral disc nutrition as a potential therapeutic strategy for the treatment of disc degeneration. My thesis work with Dr. Eric Ledet illustrated for the first time that convective transport induced by mechanical loading can enhance the uptake and clearance of small molecules in the healthy and degenerative disc. This work was awarded the 2015 ISSLS Prize for Lumbar Spine Research in Bioengineering, the most prestigious award in the field of spine research. My postdoctoral research with Dr. Robert Mauck at the University of Pennsylvania furthered my interests in disc regeneration and was focused on evaluating novel tissue engineered therapeutics for disc degeneration in translational animal models. This work was supported by a VA Career Development Award (CDA-1), and our publication on the long-term in vivo evaluation of a tissue engineered disc replacement in Science Translational Medicine was featured by numerous news outlets including the Philadelphia Inquirer and Popular Science. In the fall of 2019, I was awarded a VA RR&D CDA-2 to study the contribution of vertebral endplate remodeling and altered disc nutrition on the progression of disc degeneration, and the role of disc nutrition in the non-operative treatment of patients with back pain.

Selected Publications

Sachin Gupta, Rui Xiao, Matthew Fainor, Robert L Mauck, Harvey E Smith, Sarah E Gullbrand: Level Dependent Alterations in Human Facet Cartilage Mechanics and Bone Morphometry with Spine Degeneration. Journal of Orthopaedic Research 41(3): 674-683, 2023.

Matthew Fainor; Sonal Mahindroo; Sachin Gupta; Robert L. Mauck; Harvey E. Smith; Sarah E. Gullbrand: Intervertebral Disc And Facet Cross-Talk In A Rabbit Puncture Model Of Spine Degeneration. Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Orthopaedic Research Society 2022.

Muir VG, Hilliard R, Schaer TP, Burdick JA, Gullbrand SE: Injectable Radiopaque Hyaluronic Acid Granular Hydrogels for Intervertebral Disc Repair. ORS PSRS 6th International Spine Research Symposium 2022.

Elizabeth A Capogna, Emma Brown, Evan Walrath, William Furst, Qing Dong, Chao-Ming Zhou, Sarah E Gullbrand, Nam V Vo, Gwendolyn A Sowa, Eric H Ledet: ISSLS Prize in Bioengineering Science 2022: low rate cyclic loading as a therapeutic strategy for intervertebral disc regeneration. European Spine Journal 31(5): 1088-1098, 2022.

Peredo AP, Gullbrand SE, Orozco BS, Schaer TP, Smith HE, Mauck RL: Anti-inflammatory tension-activated repair patches promote intervertebral disc repair after herniation. ORS PSRS 6th International Spine Research Symposium 2022.

Orozco BS, Fainor M, Muir VG, Mahindroo S, Gupta S, Burdick JA, Mauck RL, Smith HE, Gullbrand SE: Intervertebral Disc and Facet Crosstalk in a Rabbit Puncture Model of Disc Degeneration. ORS PSRS 6th International Spine Research Symposium 2022.

Lance Murphy; Ana Peredo; Sarah Gullbrand; Robert Mauck: Interleukin-1β As A Neuroinflammatory Mediator In Intervertebral Disc Injury. Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Orthopaedic Research Society 2022.

Sarah E. Gullbrand; Sonal Mahindroo; Matthew Fainor; Kyle Meadows; Adriana Barba; Klaus Hopster; Thomas P. Schaer; Dawn M. Elliott; Robert L. Mauck; Harvey E. Smith: A Large Animal Model Of Motion Segment Degeneration For Evaluation Of Engineered Disc Replacements. Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Orthopaedic Research Society 2022.

Ana P. Peredo; Snehal S. Shetye; Chet S. Friday; Hannah M. Zlotnick; Lance A. Murphy; Brendan D. Stoeckl; George R. Dodge; Daeyeon Lee; Michael W. Hast; Sarah E. Gullbrand; Harvey E. Smith; Robert L. Mauck: A Mechano-Responsive Annular Repair Device For Biologics Delivery In The Goat Cervical Spine. Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Orthopaedic Research Society 2022.

Anna N. Smith; Ana Peredo; Richa Gupta; Robert Mauck; Sarah Gullbrand; Michael Hast: Development Of 3D Printed Biodegradable PLGA Implants To Control Loading During Fracture Repair. Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Orthopaedic Research Society 2022.

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Last updated: 02/20/2023
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