Bryan Brown, Ph.D.'s picture
Brown, Ph.D.

University of Pittsburgh


Bryan Brown is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Bioengineering with a secondary appointment in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh. Brown graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a BS in Mechanical Engineering in 2005 and a PhD in Bioengineering in 2011. He then completed postdoctoral training in the Departments of Biomedical Engineering and Clinical Sciences at Cornell University prior to joining the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine. Brown is currently a Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women’s Health (BIRCWH K12) Scholar at Magee Women’s Research Institute. Additionally, Brown is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Clinical Sciences at the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine.  

Brown is a member of the American Urogynecologic Society, the Biomedical Engineering Society, the Society for Biomaterials, and the Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine International Society (TERMIS). He has received a number of awards including the 2010 Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine Young Investigator Award, the TERMIS Educator Award, and the Carnegie Science Award. Brown has published more than 40 peer reviewed journal articles and 5 book chapters. He has served as a reviewer for the National Science Foundation and for the Carnegie Science Awards. Brown has served as a reviewer for a number of journals including Tissue Engineering, Acta Biomaterialia, and the Journal of Biomedical Materials Research, among others, and is on the editorial board of Cells, Tissues, and Organs. He currently teaches both graduate and undergraduate level courses including “Extracellular Matrix in Tissue Biology and Bioengineering” and “Societal, Political, and Ethical Issues in Bioengineering and Biotechnology.”  

The Brown Laboratory seeks to couple a mechanistic understanding of the host inflammatory response in injury and disease with the development of context-dependent biomaterials for regenerative medicine strategies. The focus of the Brown Laboratory is upon clinical applications where few effective solutions currently exist, with increasing emphasis upon unmet clinical needs in women’s health. Recent areas of significant interest are temporomandibular joint disease and pelvic organ prolapse. These efforts are currently funded by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institute on Aging, National Institute of General Medical Science, Office of Research on Women’s Health, and the Wallace H. Coulter Foundation.

Title of Abstract

An Extracellular Matrix-based Device for Temporomandibular Joint Reconstruction

Presenting Author

Bryan Brown, Ph.D.


Currently, no alternatives exist to effectively replace a temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disc. Two recent studies reported that a device composed of extracellular matrix (ECM) was capable of providing an inductive template for reconstruction of the TMJ disc in a canine model. The present study examined the effectiveness of an ECM device in a porcine model, considered the “gold-standard” for TMJ disc research. The device was implanted following bilateral discectomy, leaving the contralateral side empty (control). Animals were sacrificed at time points of 2, 4, 12, and 24 weeks and remodeling was assessed by gross morphologic and histologic examination, MRI imaging, and biomechanical analysis (tension and compression). All results were compared to native disc as a control.

The ECM device was remodeled and replaced by a structure highly resembling the native disc by 4 weeks post-implantation in greater than 50% of animals. Histologic appearance of the remodeled implant was characterized by dense, aligned fibrocartilage containing spindle-shaped cells within the area of articulation. Formation of peripheral muscular and tendinous attachments resembling those in the native disc was also observed. MRI confirmed these results. The biomechanical properties of the remodeling tissue approached that of the native disc over the course of remodeling. Protection of condylar surfaces in ECM implanted animals was observed regardless of ECM-mediated formation of new TMJ disc tissue.

This device fills a clinical need for which there are currently no effective treatments and may represent a simple and effective “off-the-shelf” solution for reconstruction of the TMJ disc.

Author Listing

Bryan Brown


Department of Bioengineering, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences, McGowan Institute of Regenerative Medicine, University of Pittsburgh

All Author Affiliations

Department of Bioengineering, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences, McGowan Institute of Regenerative Medicine, University of Pittsburgh