57. Serruya MD, Harris JP, Adewole DO, Struzyna LA, Burrell JC, Nemes AD, Petrov D, Kraft RH, Chen HI, Wolf JA, Cullen DK. Engineered Axonal Tracts as “Living Electrodes” for Synaptic-Based Modulation of Neural Circuitry, Advanced Functional Materials (2017; in press). PDF

56. Katiyar KS, Winter CC (cfa), Gordián-Vélez WJ, O’Donnell JC, Song YJ, Hernandez NS, Struzyna LA, Cullen DK. Three-Dimensional Tissue Engineered Aligned Astrocyte Networks to Recapitulate Developmental Mechanisms and Facilitate Nervous System Regeneration, Journal of Visualized Experiments (2017; in press).

55. Wolf JA, Johnson BN, Johnson VE, Putt ME, Browne KD, Mietus CJ, Brown DP, Wofford KL, Smith DH, Grady MS, Cohen AS, Cullen DK. Concussion Induces Hippocampal Circuitry Disruption in Swine, J Neurotrauma Jul 15:34(14): 2303-14 (2017).

54. Struzyna LA, Adewole DO (cfa), Gordián-Vélez WJ, Grovola MR, Burrell JC, Katiyar KS, Petrov D, Harris JP, Cullen DK. Anatomically-Inspired Three-Dimensional Micro-Tissue Engineered Neural Networks for Nervous System Reconstruction, Modulation, and Modeling, J Vis Exp May 31:123 (2017). PDF

53. Wofford KL, Harris JP, Browne KD, Brown DP, Grovola MR, Mietus CJ, Wolf JA, Duda JE, Putt ME, Spiller KL, Cullen DK. Rapid Neuroinflammatory Response Localized to Injured Neurons After Diffuse Traumatic Brain Injury in Swine, Experimental Neurology 290:85-94 (2017). PMID 2808196352. PDF

52. Roberts SE, Thibaudeau S, Burrell JC, Zager EL, Cullen DK, Levin LS. To Reverse or Not to Reverse? A Systematic Review of Autograft Polarity on Functional Outcomes following Peripheral Nerve Repair Surgery, Microsurgery 37(2):169-174 (2017). PMID 27935644

51. Adewole DO, Serruya MD, Harris JP, Burrell JC, Petrov D, Chen HI, Wolf JA, Cullen DK. The Evolution of Neuroprosthetic Interfaces, Critical Reviews in Biomedical Engineering 44(1-2):123-52 (2016). PDF

50. Winter CC, Katiyar KS (co-first author), Hernandez NS, Song YJ, Struzyna LA, Harris JP, Cullen DK. Transplantable Living Scaffolds Comprised of Micro-Tissue Engineered Aligned Astrocyte Networks to Facilitate Central Nervous System Regeneration, Acta Biomaterialia 38:44-58 (2016). PDF

49. Shen W, Struzyna LA, Cullen DK, Allen MG. Fabrication of Neural Microelectrode Arrays from Extracellular Matrix, Solid-State Sensors, Actuators, and Microsystems Technical Digest, Hilton Head Workshop (2016).

48. Katiyar KS, Winter CC, Struzyna LA, Harris JP, Cullen DK. Mechanical Elongation of Astrocyte Processes to Create Living Scaffolds for Nervous System Regeneration, J Tissue Engineering & Regenerative Medicine June 7 (2016). PDF

47. Cullen DK, Harris JP, Browne KD, Wolf JA, Duda JE, Meaney DF, Margulies SS, Smith DH. A Porcine Model of Traumatic Brain Injury Via Head Rotational Acceleration, Injury Models of Central Nervous System: Traumatic Brain Injury, Methods in Molecular Biology 1462:289-324. Dixon, Kobeissy, Hayes and Mondello eds (2016). PDF

46. Meaney DF and Cullen DK. Biomechanical Basis of Traumatic Brain Injury, Youmans and Winn’s Neurological Surgery, 7th Edition, HR Winn ed. (2016). PDF

45. Petrov D, Katiyar KS (co-first author), Struzyna LA, Harris JP, Cullen DK. Extracellular Matrix-Derived Tissues for Neurological Applications, Extracellular Matrix-Derived Medical Implants in Clinical Medicine, 1st Edition, DL Mooradian ed. (2016).

44. Meng X, Browne KD, Cullen DK, Tofighi MR, Kawoos U, Rosen A. Wireless Intracranial Pressure System for the Assessment of Traumatic Brain Injury. Medical and Biological Microwave Sensors and Systems, I. Mostafanezhad, O. Boric-Lubecke, J. Lin, eds. (2016; in press).

43. Chen HI, Jgamadze D, Serruya MD, Cullen DK, Wolf JA, Smith DH. Neural Substrate Expansion for the Restoration of Brain Function, Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience 10(1) (2016).

42. Harris JP, Struzyna LA, Murphy PL, Adewole DO, Kuo E, Cullen DK. Advanced Biomaterial Strategies to Transplant Preformed Micro-Tissue Engineered Neural Networks into the Brain, J Neural Engineering 13(1):016019 (2016). PDF

41. Johnson VE, Stewart W, Weber MT, Cullen DK, Siman R, Smith DH. SNTF Immunostaining Reveals Previously Undetected Axonal Pathology in Traumatic Brain Injury, Acta Neuropathologica 131(1):115-35 (2016).

40. Struzyna LA, Wolf JA, Mietus CJ, Adewole DO, Chen HI, Smith DH, Cullen DK. Rebuilding Brain Circuitry with Living Micro-Tissue Engineered Neural Networks, Tissue Engin Part A 21(21-22): 2744-56 (2015). PDF

39. Struzyna LA, Harris JP, Katiyar KS, Chen HI, Cullen DK. Restoring Nervous System Structure and Function Using Tissue Engineered Living Scafolds, Neural Regeneration Research 10(5): 679-85 (2015). PDF

38. Ross JD, Cullen DK (co-first author), LaPlaca MC, DeWeerth SP. 3-D Image Processing Techniques for Rapid Automated Segmentation of Neuronal Somata with Dense Neurite Outgrowth, Frontiers in Neuroanatomy, 9 (20 July 2015). LINK

37. Johnson VE, Meaney DF, Cullen DK, Smith DH. Animal Models of Traumatic Brain Injury (Chapter 8), TBI Part 1, Handbook of Clinical Neurology, 27(3): 115-128, J Grafman and AM Salazar, eds. (2015).

36. Struzyna LA, Katiyar KS, Cullen DK. Living Scaffolds for Neuroregeneration, Current Opinion in Solid State & Material Science, 18(6): 308-318 (2014). PDF

35. Harris JP, Browne KD, Wolf JA, Cullen DK. Linking Macro- to Micro-Biomechanics in Closed-Head Traumatic Brain Injury Base on Acute Biophysical Disruptions and Evolving Neurodegeneration, Conf Proc 17th U.S. National Congress on Theoretical and Applied Mechanics (2014). PDF

34. Meng X, Cullen DK, Tofighi MR, Rosen A. Telemetry-Based Neuromonitoring System Measuring Dynamic Intracranial Pressure Following Closed-Head Rotational Injury in Swine, IEEE Life Sciences Newsletter February (2013). LINK

33. Cullen DK and Smith DH. Bionic Connections: Living Bridges to Connect Bionic Limbs to the Nervous System. Scientific American 308(1): 52-57 (2013).

32. Meng X, Bronw KD, Huang SM, Mietus CJ, Cullen DK, Tofighi MR Rosen A. Dynamic Evaluation of a Digital Wireless Intracranial Pressure Sensor for the Assessment of Traumatic Brain Injury in a Swine Model, Trans on Microwave Theory and Technology (2012). PDF

31. Cullen DK, Tang-Schomer MD, Struzyna LA, Patel AR, Johnson VE, Wolf JA, Smith DH. Micro-Tissue Engineered Constructs with Living Axons for Targeted Tract Reconstruction, Tissue Engineering Part A 18(21-22)(2012). PMID: 22702955. PDF

30. Meng X, Brown KB, Huang SM, Cullen DK, Tofighi MR, Rosen A. Dynamic Study of Wireless Intracranial Pressure Monitoring of Rotational Head Injury in Swine Model, Electronics Letters 48(7):363-364 (2012). PDF

29. Cullen DK, Browne KD, Xu Y, Adeeb S, Wolf JA, McCarron RM, Yang S, Chavko M, Smith DH. Blast-Induced Color Change in Photonic Crystals Corresponds with Brain Pathology, J Neurotrauma 28:2307-2318 (2011). PMID: 22023510. PDF

28. Cullen DK, Vernekar VN, LaPlaca MC. Trauma-Induced Plasmalemma Disruptions in 3-D Neural Cultures are Dependent on Strain Modality and Rate, J Neurotrauma 28:2219-2233 (2011). PMID: 22023556. PDF

27. Higgins AZ, Cullen DK, LaPlaca MC, Karlsson JOM. Effects of Freezing Profile Parameters on the Survival of Cryopreserved Rat Embryonic Neural Cells, J Neuroscience Methods 201(1):9-16 (2011). PMID: 21816171. PDF

26. Cullen DK and Pfister BJ. Transformative Research in Neural Engineering, Critical Reviews in Biomedical Engineering 39(3):181-183 (2011). PMID: 21967301. PDF

25. Cullen DK, Wolf JA, Smith DH, Pfister BJ. Neural Tissue Engineering for Neuroregeneration and Biohybridized Interface Microsystems In Vivo (Part 2), Critical Reviews in Biomedical Engineering 39(3):241-259 (2011). PMID: 21967304. PDF

24. Cullen DK, Wolf JA, Vernekar VN, Vukasinovic J, LaPlaca MC. Neural Tissue Engineering and Biohybridized Microsystems for Neurobiological Investigation In Vitro (Part 1), Critical Reviews in Biomedical Engineering 39(3):201-240 (2011). PMID: 21967303. PDF

23. Morrison B III, Cullen DK, LaPlaca MC. In Vitro Models for Biomechanical Studies of Neural Tissues. Neural Tissue Mechanics, L. Bilston, ed. (2011). PDF

22. Cullen DK and Pfister BJ. State of the Art and Future Challenges in Neural Engineering: Strategies for Nervous System Repair, Critical Reviews in Biomedical Engineering 39(2):79-80 (2011). PMID: 21488816. PDF

21. Pfister BJ, Gordon T, Loverde JR, Kochar AS, Mackinnon SE, Cullen DK. 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). PMID: 21488817. PDF

20. Cullen DK and Pfister BJ. State of the Art and Future Challenges in Neural Engineering: Neural Interfaces, Critical Reviews in Biomedical Engineering 39(1):1-3 (2011). PMID 21488811. PDF

19. Cullen DK, Xu Y, Reneer DV, Browne KD, Geddes JW, Yang S, Smith DH. Color Changing Photonic Crystals Detect Blast Exposure, NeuroImage 54S1:S37-S44 (2011). PMID: 21040795. Featured in Science (Editor’s Choice), Technology Review, UPI, Newsworks, Wired, The Engineer. PDF

18. Cullen DK, Gilroy ME, Irons HR, LaPlaca MC. Synapse-to-Neuron Ratio is Inversely Related to Neuronal Density in Mature Neuronal Cultures, Brain Research 1359:44-55 (2010) (cover article). PMID 20800585. PDF

17. LaPlaca MC, Vernekar VN, Shoemaker JT, Cullen DK. Three-Dimensional Neuronal Cultures. Methods in Bioengineering: 3D Tissue Engineering, Berthiaume F and Morgan J, eds. (2010). PDF

16. LaPlaca MC, Prado GR, Cullen DK, Simon CM. Plasma Membrane Damage as a Marker of Neuronal Injury, Conf Proc IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc 2009:1113-6 (2009). PMID: 19964751. PDF

15. Vukasinovic J, Cullen DK, LaPlaca MC, Glezer A. A Microperfused Incubator for Tissue Mimetic 3-D Cultures, Biomedical Microdevices 11(6):1155 (2009). PMID 19562488. PDF

14. Huang JH, Cullen DK (co-first author), Browne KD, Groff R, Zhang J, Pfister BJ, Zager EL, Smith DH. Long-Term Survival and Integration of Transplanted Engineered Nervous Tissue Constructs Promotes Peripheral Nerve Regeneration, Tissue Engineering Part A 15(7):1677-85 (2009). PMID: 19231968. PDF

13. Vernekar VN, Cullen DK, Fogleman N, Choi Y, Garcia AJ, Allen MG, Brewer GJ, LaPlaca MC. SU-8 2000 Rendered Cytocompatible for Neuronal BioMEMS Applications, J Biomed Mater Res A 89(1):138-151 (2009). PMID: 18431778. PDF

12. Cullen DK, Patel AR, Doorish JF, Smith DH, Pfister BJ. Developing a Tissue Engineered Neural-Electrical Relay Using Encapsulated Neuronal Constructs on Conducting Polymer Fibers, J Neural Engineering 5(4):374-384 (2008) (cover article). PMID: 18827311. PDF

11. Kameswaran N, Cullen DK, Pfister BJ, Ranalli NJ, Huang JH, Zager EL, Smith DH. A Novel Neuro-Prosthetic Interface with the Peripheral Nervous System Using Artificially Engineered Axonal Tracts, Neurological Res 30(10):1063-7 (2008). PMID: 19079981. PDF

10. Irons HR, Cullen DK, Shapiro NP, Lambert NA, Lee RH, LaPlaca MC. 3-D Neural Constructs: A Novel Platform for Neurophysiological Investigation, J Neural Engineering 5(3):333-341 (2008). PMID: 18756031. PDF

9. Cullen DK, Stabenfeldt SE, Simon CM, Tate CC, LaPlaca MC. In Vitro Neural Injury Model for Optimization of Tissue Engineered Constructs, J Neurosci Res 85(16):3642-51 (2007). PMID: 17671988. PDF

8. Cullen DK, Simon CM, LaPlaca MC. Strain Rate-Dependent Induction of Reactive Astrogliosis and Cell Death in 3-D Neuronal-Astrocytic Co-Cultures, Brain Res 1158:103-115 (2007) (cover article). PMID: 17555726. PDF

7. LaPlaca MC, Simon CM, Prado GR, Cullen DK. CNS Injury Biomechanics and Experimental Models, Prog Brain Res 161:13-26 (2007). PMID: 17618967. PDF

6. Cullen DK, Vukasinovic J, Glezer A, LaPlaca MC. Microfluidic Engineered High Cell Density 3-D Neural Cultures, J Neural Engineering 4(2):159-172 (2007). PMID: 17409489. Selected as “Highlights of 2007”. PDF

5. Cullen DK, Lessing MC, LaPlaca MC. Collagen-Dependent Neurite Outgrowth and Response to Dynamic Deformation in 3-D Neuronal Cultures, Ann Biomed Engineering 35(5):835-846 (2007). PMID: 17385044. PDF

4. LaPlaca MC, Prado GR, Cullen DK, Irons HR. High Rate Shear Insult Delivered to Cortical Neurons Produces Heterogeneous Membrane Permeability Alterations, Conf Proc IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc 1:2384-7 (2006). PMID: 17946956. PDF

3. Cullen DK and LaPlaca MC. Neuronal Response to High Rate Shear Deformation Depends on Heterogeneity of the Local Strain Field, J Neurotrauma 23(9):1304-1319 (2006). PMID: 16958583. PDF

2. Cullen DK, Vukasinovic J, Glezer A, LaPlaca MC. High Cell Density 3-D Neural Co-Cultures Require Continuous Medium Perfusion for Survival, Conf Proc IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc 1:636-9 (2006). PMID 17946846. PDF

1. LaPlaca MC, Cullen DK, McLoughlin JJ, Cargill RS. High Rate Shear Strain of 3-D Neural Cell Cultures: A New In Vitro Traumatic Brain Injury Model, J Biomech 38(5):1093-1105 (2005). PMID: 15797591. PDF

Contact Information

D. Kacy Cullen, Ph.D
105E Hayden Hall, 3320 Smith Walk
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Apply to join the Cullen Lab



News and Events

  • Dr. John O’Donnell, a postdoctoral fellow in the Cullen Lab, was awarded a prestigious NRSA (F32) Training Fellowship through the NIH. His project is titled “Modeling Disorders of Consciousness”. Way to go John!
  • The Cullen Lab and collaborators had a poster selected as one of the "Blue Ribbon Highlights" at the International Congress of Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders in Vancouver, Canada. The poster was titled “Tissue Engineered Nigrostriatal Pathway for Treatment of Parkinson’s Disease”. A write-up about the project in Neurology Today can be found here.
  • Dr. Cullen and collaborators received a major 4-year Merit Review Award from the Department of Veterans Affairs to advance their project “Transplantable Micro-Tissue Engineered Neural Networks to Restore the Nigrostriatal Pathway in Parkinson's Disease”. This exciting project applies cutting-edge tissue engineering and regenerative medicine techniques to build the full nigrostriatal pathway in vitro using human induced pluripotent stem cells, with efficacy testing of these human-scale constructs in a large animal model of Parkinson’s disease. Success of this project over the next several years will enable clinical trials based on precision medicine– rebuilding complex brain networks using a patients own cells and implanting these fully preformed constructs to replace vulnerable pathways lost due to neurodegenerative disease. The co-investigators on this project are Dr. Isaac Chen, Dr. John Wolf, and Dr. John Duda. Way to go team!
  • Dr. Cullen was promoted to Associate Professor at the University of Pennsylvania. Congratulations Dr. Cullen!
  • Congratulations to Laura Struzyna, a Bioengineering Doctoral Candidate in the Cullen Lab, whose winning entry for Penn's "Art in Science" competition was featured on the NIH Director's Blog!
  • The Cullen Lab and collaborators at Penn (Drs. Isaac Chen, Douglas Smith, and John Wolf) and Rutgers University (Drs. Joachim Kohn and Hilton Kaplan) were awarded a 3-year, $2.1 million dollar grant from the U.S. Dept. of Defense on "Tissue Engineering Strategies to Maintain Distal Target Efficacy and Promote Full Functional Recovery Following Major Peripheral Nerve Injury".
  • The Cullen Lab and collaborators had two abstracts selected as “Hot Topics” (top 2% of submissions) for presentation in a platform session at the World Parkinson’s Congress meeting in Portland, OR. Carolyn Keating, a Neuroscience doctoral candidate, presented "Diffuse Brain Injury in Swine Causes Plasmalemmal Dysruption and α-Synuclein Over-Expression in the Substantia Nigra". Dr. John Duda presented "Can Living Micro-Tissue Engineered Axonal Tracts Reconstruct the Nigrostriatal Pathway in PD?"
  • Dr. Cullen had the honor of being selected as one of "3 People to Watch in Neuroscience in 2016" by STAT News (Health, Medicine, and Biotech publication):
  • Congratulations to Laura Struzyna, a Bioengineering Doctoral Candidate in the Cullen Lab, who won second place in the Perelman School of Medicine 2016 "Art in Science" Competition. The winning image is shown here.
  • Penn and the Journal of Neural Engineering put out a press release for our most recent manuscript describing the Cullen Lab's novel micro-tissue engineered neural networks to restore brain circuitry. Link:
  • Carla Winter, and undergraduate researcher in the Cullen Lab for the past 3 years, was selected as a George J. Mitchell Scholar (one of only 12 in the U.S.): is very prestigious and well-deserved honor. Way to go Carla!
  • Dr. Cullen had the honor of giving a TED-style talk at Penn’s Annual Neuroscience Public Lecture Series on Neuroengineering: Where Biology Meets Technology. Dr. Cullen discussed the lab’s pioneering work on "Restoring Nervous System Structure and Function With Tissue Engineered 'Living Scaffolds'” (YouTube video:
  • The Cullen Lab and collaborators Dr. John Wolf, Dr. Misha Serruya, Dr. Brain Litt, Dr. Reuben Kraft and Dr. Isaac Chen were awarded a 3-year, $2 million dollar cooperative agreement (U01) from the NIH to further pioneer "Biological 'Living Electrodes' Using Tissue Engineered Axonal Tracts to Probe and Modulate the CNS".
  • The Cullen Lab received a 2-year grant from the U.S. Dept. of Defense to advance "Novel Tissue-Engineered Nerve Grafts for Repair of Currently Untreatable Peripheral Nerve Injury".
  • Bioengineering Ph.D. Candidate, Kritika Katiyar, was selected for a prestigious NRSA F31 Graduate Research Fellowship through the National Institutes of Health based on her proposal for "Molecular Mediators of Axon-Facilitated Axon Regeneration."
  • Dayo Adewole, a Bioengineering Ph.D. student in the Cullen Lab, was awarded a 3-year Graduate Research Fellowship through the National Science Foundation to develop next-generation neuroprosthetic interfaces. Way to go Dayo!
  • The Cullen Lab and collaborators Dr. John Duda, Dr. Isaac Chen, and Dr. John Wolf were awarded a 2-year grant from the Michael J. Fox Foundation for the project "Restoring the Nigrostriatal Pathway with Living Micro-Tissue Engineered Axonal Tracts".

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