Network for Excellence for Functional Biomaterials

The Network of Excellence for Functional Biomaterials is a dynamic group of scientists, engineers and clinicians who work together to develop implantable biomaterials to restore dysfunctional cells and tissue that result from disease or injury. Biomaterials include both natural and synthetic materials, or a combination of both. Their effectiveness can be greatly enhanced by incorporating therapeutic agents such as drugs, cells, genes, growth factors or other bio-molecules. This is known as functionalisation of biomaterials. NFB focus on several clinical areas including musculoskeletal, neural, soft tissue repair and cardiovascular applications.


At NFB our musculoskeletal research involves finding new strategies to regenerate the intervertebral disc, which causes lower back pain, development of biomaterial and titanium scaffolds for bone regeneration and the development of a durable prosthetic foot.

Neural research

NFB  investigates the repair and regeneration mechanisms of peripheral nerve and spinal cord injury. This involves the development of functionalised scaffolds to aid in this repair.

Soft tissue repair

Reconstructive surgery and wound healing is a significant area of research at NFB. Investigating methods to treat Recessive Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa is a particular focus area.
Cardiovascular research
At NFB, we are developing the next generation of cardiac patches and grafts with the main focus being the use of functionalised scaffolds to regenerate infarcted myocardium as well as investigating other biomaterials for cardiovascular tissue engineering applications.

NFB is part of the NCBES which also includes the Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) and provides state of the art research facilities to support interdisciplinary research activities in Biomedical Engineering Science.

Facilities at NCBES, Orbsen Building, NUI Galway

Upright fluorescence microscope Olympus BX51 with DP70 color camera and Image Pro-Plus analysis system
Inverted fluorescence motorised microscope Olympus IX-81 with Image Pro-Plus analysis software and Autoquant deconvolution software
Varian 920 HPLC system with IR detector and Cirrus Gel Permeation Chromatography software
Varian 610-IR FTIR Microscope with ResolutionsPro software
Malvern Nano ZS-90 Zeta Potential and Size analyser
Biochrom amino acid analyser
Virtis freeze driers
Electrospinning rig and high voltage power supply
Multiple illimination image documentation system Thermo Scientific Varioskan Flash Spectral Scanning Multimode Reader
Varioskan Flash Spectral Scanning Multimode Reader with Skanit software (UV/Vis, flourescence, TRH, luminesence)
Lab-on-a-chip reader for nucleic acid analysis.
Nanodrop spectrophotometer

MSc student

Polymer-based synthesis and the development of novel approaches in the functionalisation of biomaterials based platforms.
Find out more about NFB work opportunities. Please visit our jobs section for a complete list of current vacancies.