Project Description

This project entitles the design and synthesis of biodegradable and biocompatible metal organic frameworks for protein encapsulation and delivery
Program - Chemical Science
Division - Biological and Environmental Sciences and Engineering
Faculty Lab Link - shms.kaust.edu.sa
Center Affiliation - Advanced Membranes and Porous Materials Center
Field of Study - Supramolecular Chemistry/Nanotechnology

About the

Niveen M. Khashab

Professor, Chemical Science

Niveen M. Khashab
Inspired by the model of evolutionary biological systems, the Khashab research group is engaged in the design and synthesis of supramolecular assemblies at the nanoscale employing non-covalent and coordination interactions. The main advantage of these molecularly defined entities is superior solution processability to be easily and reproducibly integrated in future commercial fabrication processes. These systems are designed with an emphasis on hierarchical-assembly (evolution), porosity (ordered self-assembly) and stimuli-responsiveness (smart materials).

1- Bioengineering/Biomedical Thrust
Supramolecular assembled capsules (SACs) are designed to aid in the problem of intracellular delivery by improving targetability and controlling the release of cargo, such as CRISPR-Cas9 and RNA, on-demand. Solving the problem of delivery will not solely drastically improve the quality of therapeutic approaches such as chemotherapy but will also revolutionize the vaccination industry by designing “personalized vaccines or personalized medicine” that protect individuals from various diseases. Moreover, with the decoding of the human genome and the major strides that we see today towards Digital Health, the ability to synthetically mimic a natural function is an inevitable evolutionary step as precise data points will be available to better perfect synthetic designs.
2- Industrial Separations and Nanocomposites Thrust
 Intrinsically porous materials (IPMs) are a promising alternative to zeolites, covalent organic frameworks (COFs) and porous coordination polymers (PCPs) as sorbents for energy intensive separations as they are made from discrete organic molecules with accessible “built-in” pores or windows. These stable systems are easily prepared and scaled-up in addition to being solution processable, which makes them very attractive for industrial translation. IPMs can be employed using liquid-liquid extraction mechanisms without the need for extensive distillations, which can be directly translated into industrial commodities for CO2 and benzene isomers separation. This will ultimately promote environmentally friendly and energy-efficient industrial separations and can effectively contribute the Circular Carbon Initiative (CCI).

Desired Project Deliverables

- prepare MOFs with calcium and magnesium 
- fully characterize the obtained MOfs