Gullbrand Laboratory

Welcome to Gullbrand Laboratory

The Gullbrand Lab studies how aberrant structure-function relationships across the spine contribute to the initiation and progression of degenerative disc disease. Our work spans multiple length scales across model systems of disease and human tissue. We probe spinal tissues by employing a suite of biomechanical and bioimaging tools, elucidating connections between tissue structure and degeneration of intervertebral discs, vertebral bones, cartilage endplates, and facet joints. Our group also focuses on utilizing this knowledge to inform the development of tissue-engineering-based approaches for disc regeneration. Central to this work, in collaboration with Harvey Smith, MD and Robert Mauck, PhD, is the translation of a whole tissue engineered intervertebral disc replacement towards clinical application in human patients. 

The Gullbrand lab is uniquely situated in the Translational Musculoskeletal Research Center at the Philadelphia Corporal Michael J. Crescenz VA Medical Center.

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Columbia University Invites Dr. Gullbrand to Speak
March 05, 2024
Dr. Gullbrand gave a seminar today entitled "Disc-Facet and Disc-Endplate Crosstalk During Spinal Degeneration and Repair" as part of Columbia University's Orthopaedic Surgery Seminars in Musculoskeletal Research series.

Congratulations to Emily Sharp on Receiving ORS Spine Section Poster Award
February 06, 2024
Congratulations to all members of the Gullbrand Lab on their presentations at the Orthopaedic Research Society's 2024 Conference in Long Beach, California! Notably, PhD student Emily Sharp received the ORS Spine Section Poster Award for her outstanding project "A 'Clickable' Hydrogel for Annulus Fibrosis Repair After Intervertebral Disc Herniation." Dr. Sarah Gullbrand also presented during the Spine Biomechanics and Wearables session, highlighting our work understanding how rigid plate fixation of a tissue engineered disc replacement impacts adjacent facet degeneration over short and long durations in a large animal model.

Congratulations to Dr. Victoria Muir and Coauthors on Advanced Healthcare Materials Publication
January 05, 2024
Congratulations to Dr. Victoria Muir and coauthors on their latest publication "Injectable Radiopaque Hyaluronic Acid Granular Hydrogels for Intervertebral Disc Repair" in Advanced Healthcare Materials.

Congratulations to Dr. Ana Peredo and Coauthors for New STM Cover
November 15, 2023
Congratulations to Dr. Ana Peredo and coauthors on their latest publication "Tension-activated nanofiber patches delivering an anti-inflammatory drug improve repair in a goat intervertebral disc herniation model." Their work was also featured as the cover of Science Translational Medicine's latest issue!

Dr. Gullbrand Speaks at PSRS
November 03, 2023
Dr. Sarah Gullbrand was invited to speak at the 2023 Philadelphia Spine Research Symposium held at Drexel University. Her talk, entitled "Mechanisms of Facet Degeneration Adjacent to Engineered Discs Implanted with Plate Fixation," highlighted our lab's collaborative work characterizing and modeling facet degeneration after total disc replacement surgery. Other members of the Mauck-Gullbrand Spine Group, including Dr. Kevin Burt, Caitlin Barrett, Matthew Fainor, Brianna Orozco, and Emily Sharp presented their work during the poster session.

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