Controlled Release and Delivery Laboratory

Controlled Release and Delivery Laboratory, Khashab Research Group


Professor Khashab's research interests are in design, synthesis, and applications of "smart" programmable nanomaterials with emphasis on the controlled release and delivery aspects of the systems. These engineered materials are utilized for medical/pharmaceutical (drug delivery), industrial (self healing materials) and environmental (membranes synthesis) applications.

What makes these nanomaterials so different and so intriguing is their extremely small feature size of the same scale as the critical size for physical phenomena. Fundamental electronic, magnetic, optical, chemical, and biological processes are also different at this level. Where proteins are 10-1000 nanometers (nm) in size, and cell walls 1-100 nm thick, their behavior on encountering a nanomaterial may be quite different from that seen in relation to larger-scale materials. Nanocapsules and nanodevices may present new possibilities for drug delivery, gene therapy, and medical diagnostics.

Clay/polymer nanocomposites are important category of nanomaterials. These have been considered as matrix materials for fiber-based composites destined for industrial and more specifically aerospace components. Aircraft and spacecraft components require lightweight materials with high strength and stiffness, among other qualities. Nanocomposites, with their superior thermal resistance, are also attractive for such applications as housings for electronics.

The most energetic research currently concerns carbon nanotubes. There is good reason to devote so much effort to them. Carbon nanotubes have been shown to have unique properties, stiffness, and strength higher than any other material as well as extraordinary electronic properties. Thus, applications of carbon nanotubes in smart membranes synthesis will be a major research area in the CRD Lab.