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.
Permanent link
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Description of Research Expertise

My general research interests include intervertebral disc nutrition, regenerative therapeutics for the treatment of disc degeneration, and novel non-invasive imaging modalities for the spine. 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

Nicolette Driscoll, Brian Erickson, Brendan B Murphy, Andrew G Richardson, Gregory Robbins, Nicholas V Apollo, Georgios Mentzelopoulos, Tyler Mathis, Kanit Hantanasirisakul, Puneet Bagga, Sarah E Gullbrand, Matthew Sergison, Ravinder Reddy, John A Wolf, H Isaac Chen, Timothy H Lucas, Timothy R Dillingham, Kathryn A Davis, Yury Gogotsi, John D Medaglia, Flavia Vitale: MXene-infused bioelectronic interfaces for multiscale electrophysiology and stimulation. Science Translational Medicine 13(612): eabf8629, 2021.

Alon Lai, Jennifer Gansau, Sarah E. Gullbrand, James Crowley, Carla Cunha, Stefan Dudli, Julie B. Engiles, Marion Fusellier, Raquel M. Goncalves, Daisuke Nakashima, Jeffrey Okewunmi, Matthew Pelletier, Steven M. Presciutti, Jordy Schol, Yoshiki Takeoka, Sidong Yang, Takashi Yurube, Yejia Zhang, James C. Iatridis: Development of a standardized histopathology scoring system for intervertebral disc degeneration in rat models: An initiative of the ORS spine section. JOR Spine e1150, 2021.

Sachin Gupta, Sarah Gullbrand, Robert Mauck, Harvey Smith: Alterations In Facet Joint Biomechanics With Intervertebral Disc Degeneration. Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Orthopaedic Research Society 2021 Notes: Podium presentation.

Beth G Ashinsky, Sarah E Gullbrand, Chao Wang, Edward D Bonnevie, Lin Han, Robert L Mauck, Harvey E Smith: Degeneration alters structure‐function relationships at multiple length scales and across interfaces in human intervertebral discs. Journal of Anatomy 238(4): 986-998, 2021.

Yulong Wei, Zuozhen Tian, Robert J Tower, Sarah Gullbrand, Lutian Yao, Snehal S Shetye, Robert L Mauck, Ling Qin, Yejia Zhang: The Inner Annulus Fibrosus Encroaches On the Nucleus Pulposus in the Injured Mouse Tail Intervertebral Disc. American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation 100: 450-457, 2021 Notes: doi: 10.1097/PHM.0000000000001575

Wenzheng Wang, Rebecca Chung, Yihan Li, Sarah Gullbrand, Yejia Zhang, X. Sherry Liu: Effects Of Pregnancy And Lactation On The Functional Spinal Unit Post Menopause. Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Orthopaedic Research Soceity 2021.

Ana P. Peredo, Sarah E. Gullbrand, Harvey E. Smith, Robert L. Mauck: Developmentally-relevant Soluble And Biophysical Cues Direct Hipsc Differentiation Towards An AF-like Fate. Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Orthopaedic Research Society 2021.

Ana P Peredo, Sarah E Gullbrand, Robert L Mauck, Harvey E Smith: A challenging playing field: Identifying the endogenous impediments to annulus fibrosus repair. JOR Spine 4: e1133, 2021.

Sarah E. Gullbrand, Beth G. Ashinsky, Alon Lai, Jennifer Gansau, James Crowley, Carla Cunha, Julie B. Engiles, Marion Fusellier, Carol Muehleman, Matthew Pelletier, Steven Presciutti, Jordy Schol, Yoshiki Takeoka, Takashi Yurube, Yejia Zhang, James C. Iatridis, Koichi Masuda: Development of a Standardized Histopathology Scoring System for Intervertebral Disc Degeneration and Regeneration in Rabbit Models – An Initiative of the ORS Spine Section. JOR Spine e1147, 2021.

Sarah E. Gullbrand, Beth G. Ashinsky, Sai Mandalapu, Kamiel Saleh, Robert L. Mauck, Harvey E. Smith: Hydroxyapatite Coating Of Porous Polycaprolactone To Enhance Integration Of A Tissue-Engineered Total Disc Replacement. Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Orthopaedic Research Society 2021.

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Last updated: 11/18/2021
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