- Staff


Dr. Paul A. De Bank

Lecturer in Pharmaceutics

Telephone: (01225) 384017
Fax: (01225) 386114
E-mail: P.DeBank@bath.ac.uk

Department of Pharmacy and Pharmacology
University of Bath (5 West - 2.26)
Claverton Down

Research Interests:

Tissue engineering and Regenerative Medicine

Our research interests encompass 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 complex process requires a multi-disciplinary approach, drawing expertise from many fields including cell biology, biomaterials chemistry, chemical engineering, mathematical modelling and clinical sciences. Although much progress has been made in recent years, there are still a number of challenges that must be overcome if tissue engineering is to succeed. A major aim of our research is to develop chemical strategies to improve cell-based constructs tissue repair by manipulating cell-cell and cell-biomaterial interactions.

Traditionally, tissue engineering involves seeding a cell suspension on a porous biomaterial scaffold to give support for cell growth and a 3-D environment rather than the 2-D surface of a culture flask. In a natural tissue, however, complex cell-cell interactions are vital for the maintenance of function and survival of constituent cells. Current seeding strategies neglect these interactions and rely on cells meeting randomly on the scaffold surface. To overcome this, we have developed a technique that rapidly generates multi-cellular 3-D structures from cell suspensions by chemically modifying their surfaces with a cross-linkable molecule. This technique can also be used to modulate stem cell differentiation and work is ongoing to utilize this phenomenon for biomedical applications. Additionally, we are pursuing several other approaches to direct stem cell differentiation towards lineages of our choosing using both chemical and material cues.

Regenerative Medicine

An additional obstacle in current tissue engineering approaches is the successful integration of different tissues to give a fully functional, mechanically competent structure. Using different nano- and micro-scale biomaterial approaches, we are currently investigating the integration of different components of the musculoskeletal system. Using similar methods, we are also investigating novel techniques to promote nerve regeneration after injury to the central or peripheral nervous systems.  My lab is part of the University of Bath's Centre for Regenerative Medicine, which brings together the expertise of researchers from the Departments of Pharmacy & Pharmacology, Biology & Biochemistry and Chemical Engineering in an effort to develop new clinical technologies and therapeutic strategies.

centre for regenerative medicine logo

Our research is funded by the BBSRC, the Royal Society, the European Union and the University of Bath.

Current Lab Members:
  • Dr Chris Gribbon (Postdoc, BBSRC)
  • Miss Giulia Meneghello (Marie Curie Early Stage Research Training Fellow)
  • Miss Marina Kramer (University of Bath PhD Studentship)
  • Miss Julia Wells (University of Bath PhD Studentship)
Recent Publications:

De Bank, PA, Hou, Q, Warner, RM, Wood, IV, Ali, BE, MacNeil, S, Kendall, DA, Kellam, B, Shakesheff, KM and Buttery, LDK. Accelerated Formation of Multicellular 3-D Structures by Cell-to-Cell Cross-Linking. Biotechnology and Bioengineering, (2007) 97, 1617-1625.

De Bank, PA, Kellam, B, Kendall, DA and Shakesheff, KM. Altered cellular response to adsorbed matrix protein by chemoselective ligation of small molecules. Journal of Materials Chemistry, (2005) 15 (20), 2047-2055.

De Bank, PA, Kendall, DA and Alexander, SPH. A spectrophotometric assay for fatty acid amide hydrolase suitable for high throughput screening. Biochemical Pharmacology (2005) 69, 1187-1193.

Hou, Q, De Bank, PA and Shakesheff. KM. Injectable scaffolds for tissue regeneration. Journal of Materials Chemistry (2004) 14 (13), 1915-1923.

Kellam, B, De Bank, PA and Shakesheff, KM. Chemical modification of mammalian cell surfaces. Chemical Society Reviews (2003) 32, 327-337.

De Bank, PA, Kellam, B, Kendall, DA and Shakesheff, KM. Surface engineering of living myoblasts via selective periodate oxidation. Biotechnology and Bioengineering (2003) 81, 800-808.

Teaching Responsibility : Osmotic phenomena; drug absorption and routes of delivery; controlled drug delivery systems; delivery of biopharmaceuticals; stem cell biology.

MRes in Regenerative Medicine.