AUS researchers develop materials for environmental and health advancements

(MENAFN- American University Of Sharjah ) Sharjah, UAE. November 21, 2023 – Signifying a promising future of improved public health and environmental well-being, Dr. Mohammad Al-Sayah, Professor in Biology, Chemistry and Environmental Sciences at American University of Sharjah (AUS), is leading a research team in materials science with the aim of developing innovative materials with far-reaching applications in environmental remediation, healthcare and advanced technologies.
Dr. Al-Sayah's research group leverages molecular-level interactions to engineer materials with diverse applications including self-disinfecting fabrics. These fabrics, enriched with natural antibacterial carbon nanodots, hold the potential to combat microbial growth, offering promising solutions to global health challenges.
Dr. Al-Sayah underscores the significance of this innovation, stating: "Our research is pivotal in the fields of environmental monitoring and contamination mitigation, contributing significantly to safeguarding public health and the environment."
Dr. Al-Sayah's research group comprises Dr. Remya Radha, a postdoctoral fellow whose expertise has been instrumental in advancing biosensors and antimicrobial fabrics; AUS alumnae Zinb Maklouf and Danyah Khan; and AUS students Abdelhamid Khodja and Tala Terro, who have contributed in enhancing antimicrobial fabrics. Rasha Diab and Reshma Joseph, two PhD candidates in materials science and engineering, recently joined the team and are currently working on projects related to materials for environmental applications. The research also saw contributions from AUS students Nadeem Issa and Shahil Shetty, who focused on materials for environmental remediation from heavy metals as part of the overall research.
Khodja, a Bachelor of Science in Biology student and a research collaborator, said: "I am honored to be part of Dr. Al-Sayah's research group, where we develop innovative antimicrobial textiles using carbon dots, which are tiny carbon particles that have applications in bioimaging, drug delivery, biosensing, disease detection, synthetic chemistry and materials science. Our interdisciplinary approach combines biology, chemistry and material science to create self-disinfecting fabrics. By modifying cellulose-based fibers with natural antibacterial carbon nanodots, we combat microbial growth, offering promising solutions to global health challenges. Dr. Al-Sayah's leadership guides our research in the right direction, and I'm excited about the potential impact of our work across various industries."
Dr. Al-Sayah noted that his research has not only scientific significance but also offers substantial commercial potential.
“These innovative materials can be scaled up for commercial production and seamlessly integrated into existing products without disrupting industry practices. The development of self-disinfecting fabrics, in particular, has the potential to transform people's daily lives, especially during pandemics or the spread of diseases,” he said.
Revealing future plans, Dr. Al-Sayah said: "Our current focus is on improving the properties of the materials we have developed for environmental monitoring and health safety applications. Our goal is to broaden the scope of these materials to include flexible conductive materials, which are essential for the advancement of wearable electronics and bio-implants."
Additionally, the research group has pioneered diagnostic tests and procedures for the swift and accurate detection of troponin, a critical blood biomarker for heart attacks. This advancement can offer better healthcare outcomes by enabling rapid diagnoses and timely interventions.


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