Department of Pharmacy and Pharmacology


Senior Lecturer in Pharmaceutics

5 West - 2.26


Tel: +44 (0) 1225 384017 

De Bank group web pages


Dr Paul De Bank 


Our research focuses on tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, either replacing diseased or damaged tissues with a fully functional construct or promoting the repair of tissue in situ. This is a highly multidisciplinary area and we use a combination of cell biology, materials science and synthetic chemistry to develop strategies to improve cell-based constructs and tissue repair by manipulating cell-cell and cell-biomaterial interactions, especially for musculoskeletal and neuronal tissue targets.

A number of key challenges still exist if complex engineered tissues are to be clinically successful, including the formation of blood vessel networks within the constructs and the ability to direct cell positioning and growth in three dimensions. We are addressing these problems using novel experimental approaches such as “caged” chemical functional groups for the selective modification of cell scaffolds with bioactive molecules, potentially allowing 3D control over the positioning of cues for cell adhesion and growth. We are also developing new bioreactor-based 3D culture systems to promote the growth of thick tissues with an in-built system of natural and artificial vessels. In the body, cells tend to be within 100-200 µm of a blood vessel to ensure an effective supply of oxygen and nutrients plus removal of waste. In engineered tissues, this is not the case and so developing tissues are prone to necrosis if steps are not taken to improve mass transport of fluids.

Our laboratory is part of the University’s Centre for Regenerative Medicine and our research has received funding from the BBSRC, the EPSRC, the MRC, the Royal Society, the EU and the University of Bath.


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