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 biomedical (delivery, sensing, and imaging), industrial (nanocomposites) and environmental (membranes synthesis) applications.
Stimuli responsive nanomaterials are prepared to package and deliver drugs directly to diseased cells, which reduce the harm to healthy parts of the body. It also allows for the delivery of hydrophobic drugs that cannot be up taken by cells. The delivery containers range from carbon based materials to inorganic capsules such as silica nanoparticles. Sensors and imaging agents based on metallic clusters and particles are also designed for separate use or direct incorporation with the delivery system for enhanced theranostic effect.
Surface modification of nanomaterials affects many of their physical and chemical properties. Improving the dispersion and interaction of nanomaterials is a hot topic as it has direct industrial application especially in the field of nanocompsites. Interaction of functionalized nanomaterials with different polymer matrices leads to a new generation of thermally, mechanically, and/or electrically enhanced materials.
Designing nanomaterial support systems for different catalysts has impressive environmental implications as it boosts the recyclability of these catalysts, which eventually leads to "green" practices. It also increases and protects the activity of the catalysts, which makes this process commercially viable. Furthermore, incorporating the designed nanomaterials in membranes promotes their practical use for different environmental processes.