Dr Patricia Esteban MSc PhD FHEA AMIChemE MRSB

Dr Patricia P. Esteban

School of Chemical Engineering
Assistant Professor

Contact details

Institute of Translational Medicine
Heritage Building
Mindelsohn Way
B15 2TH

Dr Patricia P. Esteban is an Assistant Professor in the School of Chemical Engineering and the Healthcare Technologies Institute (HTI) at the University of Birmingham. Her research focus combines material science and bioprocessing with the aim to establish biologically relevant platforms where tailored cell-to-matrix interactions in vitro can mimic physiological mechanisms seen in native tissues, or lead to the manipulation of cell fate on a dish. These technologies aim to advance the development of cellular therapies and tissue engineering approaches to in vitro models of disease.

Patricia P. Esteban is part of the Healthcare Technologies Institute (HTI), an interdisciplinary network of over 70 academics working together to advance new technologies and treatments that encourage better tissue healing and rehabilitation tools.  The HTI brings together leading experts from a variety of disciplines across the University of Birmingham, including chemical engineering, biomedical science, computer science, applied mathematics, chemistry and physics. Researchers across campus are working collaboratively to speed up the translation of new discoveries into health applications.


  • PhD in Chemical Engineering, University of Bath, UK, 2015
  • MSc Analytical Chemistry, University of Salamanca, Spain, 2011
  • MSc Chemical Engineering, University of Salamanca, Spain, 2011


After graduating as a Chemical Engineer at the University of Salamanca (Spain) and completing an MSc in Analytical Chemistry in 2011, Patricia moved to Bath to continue her studies and obtained a PhD in Chemical Engineering at the University of Bath in 2015. Her interdisciplinary research focused on the formulation of novel therapeutic agents to overcome antibiotic resistance in burn wound infections.

Patricia’s research career progressed as a Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Bath under the supervision of Prof Marianne Ellis in a collaborative project with Unilever, developing an improved strategy to predict how much of a cosmetic or chemical penetrates the skin and reaches the blood stream. Patricia was awarded the prestigious SET for Britain Gold Award for Engineering in the House of Commons in 2016 and was nominated for the ICheme Global Awards, Young Chemical Engineer in Research Award for her work using non-animal technologies in the field of tissue engineering. Patricia’s academic development was then followed by a two-year period working in the Department of Biochemical Engineering at UCL, where she had a leading role in developing and delivering the Regenerative Medicines Manufacturing Minor and a new undergraduate degree on Medical Sciences and Engineering. Patricia joined the College of Health & Life Sciences at Aston University in 2018, where she established her independent research group with the aim to understand cellular interactions with their microenvironment and how this knowledge can be applied to the design of novel therapeutic products and disease models.

Patricia was appointed as an Assistant Professor in Chemical Engineering at the University of Birmingham in 2022, where she leads a research team that focuses on the development and optimisation of translational technologies to address current healthcare challenges.

Postgraduate supervision

Dr Esteban supervises a number of PhD research students and is also an external supervisor for several PhD researchers within the lifETIME CDT and the MIBTP doctoral programmes.

We look forward to expanding our research group, and there will be opportunities for highly motivated researchers. Projects for both postdoctoral researchers and PhD research students will be advertised via the HTI Twitter account, @htibham, Dr Esteban's personal Twitter account, @PatriPEsteban, findaphd.com and through the University’s website. Please feel free to contact Patricia to discuss possible PhD and MSc research projects.


Our research group combines expertise on materials science, engineering and cell biology with the aim to optimise bioprocessing strategies in the areas of tissue engineering and in vitro modelling, focusing on the underpinning biological interactions that occur between cells and the matrix that surrounds them. We use a multidisciplinary approach to create biomaterial-based platforms that are able to direct cell fate when they act as surrogates for the native extracellular matrix, while allowing for scaling up in bioreactors for manufacturing of cell therapies, and for scaling down in microfluidic devices to understand disease mechanisms in a “tissue-on-chip” manner. The goal of these translational technologies is to generate more physiologically relevant tissues and models for regeneration and study of disease or trauma respectively.

Areas of research

  • Soft materials to mimic the extracellular matrix in vitro.
  • Bioprocessing strategies for the optimisation of cellular expansion.
  • Design and characterisation of microfluidic devices as a platform to understand the interactions between cells and their environment in damaged or diseased tissues.
  • Application of induced pluripotent stem cells to in vitro modelling of trauma.
  • Tailored synthetic polymeric materials and biomaterials for tissue engineering, drug delivery and artificial vascularisation.
  • Mathematical modelling of biological systems.


  • Nieto, C., Vega, M. A., Rodríguez, V., Esteban, P. P., Martín del Valle, E. M. (2022). Biodegradable gellan gum hydrogels loaded with paclitaxel for HER2+ breast cancer local therapy. Carbohydrate Polymers, 294: 119732.
  • Walczak, P., Esteban, P. P., Bassett, and Hill, E. (2021). Modelling the Central Nervous System: tissue engineering of the cellular microenvironment. Emerg Top Life Sci. ETLS20210245.
  • Esteban, P. P., Patel, H., Veraitch, F., Khalife, R*. (2021). Optimization of the Nutritional Environment for Differentiation of Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells using Design of Experiments - A Proof of Concept. Biotechnology Progress; 2021;e3143.
  • Esteban, P. P., Pickles, J., Scott, A. D., Ellis, M. J*. (2019). Hollow-fiber membrane technology: Characterization and proposed use as a mimic of skin vascularization towards the development of a novel skin absorption in vitro model. Biochemical Engineering Journal; 15, 90–97.
  • Georgiou, M., Neves dos Reis, J., Wood, R., Esteban P. P., Roberton, V., Mason, C., Li, D., Li, Y., Choi, D., Wall, I*. (2018). Bioprocessing strategies to enhance the challenging isolation of neuro-regenerative cells from olfactory mucosa. Scientific Reports; 8:14440.
  • Milo, S., Hathaway, H., Nzakizwanayo, J., Alves, D., Esteban P. P., Jones, B. V., Jenkins, A. T.
A*. (2017). Prevention of Encrustation and Blockage of Urinary Catheters by Proteus mirabilis via pH-Triggered Release of Bacteriophage. Journal of Materials Chemistry B; 5(27), 5403–5411.
  • Esteban, P. P., Jenkins, A. T. A., Arnot, T*. (2016). Elucidation of the mechanisms of action of Bacteriophage K / nano-emulsion formulations against S. aureus via measurement of particle size and zeta potential. Colloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces; 139, 87–94. 

  • Alves, D., Esteban, P. P., Kot, W., Bean, J. E., Arnot, T., Hansen, L.H., Enright, M. C., Jenkins, A. T. A*. (2016). A newly isolated bacteriophage cocktail reduces and disperses biofilms produced by Pseudomonas aeruginosa under static and flow conditions. Microbial Biotechnology; 9(1), 61–74. 

  • Hathaway, H., Alves, D. R., Bean, J., Esteban, P. P., Ouadi, K., Sutton, J. M., Jenkins, A. T. A*. (2015). Poly (N-isopropylacrylamide-co-allylamine) (PNIPAM-co-ALA) Nanospheres for the Thermally Triggered Release of Bacteriophage K. European Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics; 96, 437-41. 

  • Bean, J. E., Alves, D. R., Laabei, M., Esteban, P. P., Thet, N. T., Enright, M. C., and Jenkins, A. T.
A*. (2014). Triggered Release of Bacteriophage K from Agarose/Hyaluronan Hydrogel Matrices by Staphylococcus aureus Virulence Factors. Chemistry of Materials; 26(24), 7201-7208. 

  • Alves, D., Gaudion, A., Bean, J. E., Esteban, P. P., Arnot, T. C., Harper, D. R., Kot, W., Hansen, L.
H., Enright, M. C., Jenkins, A. T. A*. (2014). Combined use of Bacteriophage K and a novel bacteriophage to reduce Staphylococcus aureus biofilm. Applied and Environmental Microbiology; 80(21), 6694-703.
  • Esteban, P. P., Alves, D. R., Enright, M. C., Bean, J. E., Gaudion, A., Jenkins, A. T. A., Young,
A. E., Arnot, T. C*. (2014). Enhancement of the antimicrobial properties of Bacteriophage-K via Stabilisation using Oil-in-Water Nano-emulsions. Biotechnology Progress; 30(4), 932–944.

View all publications in research portal