Our group is involved in the research of different areas of organic and polymer chemistry and materials science. Natural polymer-based hydrogels were widely studied by our group. Currently, we have focused on design, preparation and characterization of polymeric materials for advanced technologies and practical applications. The main research topics are summarized below:
We developed high loaded and highly efficient heterogeneous catalysts based on polymeric supports. Generally, metal ions, complexes and nanoparticles and acid and base agents were immobilized on polymeric solid supports and used in different reactions such as oxidation, coupling, click, and acid- and base-catalyzed reactions.
Magnetic catalysts constitute a great part of these catalysts since separation and reuse of these catalysts can be carried out simply using a magnet.
Drug Delivery Systems
Recently, we focused our attention on developing smart and targeted drug delivery systems. We successfully prepared stimuli-responsive drug carriers which can load and release drug in response to stimuli such as pH and temperature. It is very attractive since many cancerous and injured living cells have different pH or temperature than the healthy cells.
Thus, controlled and efficient drug delivery can be performed by direct targeting to cancerous cells with minimum effects on healthy cells or tissues. We have prepared biocompatible, biodegradable and non-toxic materials to develop smart drug delivery systems for a variety of drugs such as doxorubicin, erythromycin, gemcitabine.
Recently, we are working on preparation of conductive and semi-conductive polymers and composites. These materials have found wide applications in microelectronic industry, electrode production, optoelectronic or photovoltaic devices and recently in biotechnological systems such as nerve regeneration and drug delivery systems. We prepared semi-conductive hydrogels by incorporation of conductive materials such as graphene into the structure of different polymeric materials including polyaniline, collagen, and polyvinyl alcohol. These nanocomposites can be used in supercapacitors and also in electrically controlled drug delivery systems.
Dye and Heavy Metal Adsorbents
Synthesis of polymeric adsorbents for removal of dyes and heavy metal ions and complexes from aqueous solutions has been the subject of our works. We developed new polymeric adsorbents with different structures, functionalities and properties. Fast and efficient absorption of different cationic and anionic dyes and various heavy metal ions were carried out using these polymeric adsorbents.
Superhydrophobic coatings are a new and attractive field on which we have worked recently. Surfaces with contact angles higher than 150 were fabricated using nanocomposits of non-fluorinated acrylic polymers and modified silica nanoparticles. These coatings can be applied on different surfaces such as glass, paper, stone, textiles and metals. Water-repellent self-cleaning surfaces can be obtained.
We have worked on preparing different polymer-based nanocomposite materials. Carbonaceous nanomaterials such as fullerene, carbon nanotube (CNT (and graphene and other inorganic nanomaterials such as iron oxide, silica, silver and titanium dioxide nanoparticles were used for this purpose. High performance nanocomposites with potential applications in different fields of advanced organic and polymer chemistry such as drug delivery systems, supercapacitors, catalysts and mechanically strong hydrogels are of our interests.
We have been working on the synthesis of superabsorbent hydrogels since years ago. In particular, hydrogels based on natural polymers such as starch, carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC), carrageenan, chitosan, gelatin and collagen were extensively used for water absorption, dye and heavy metal adsorption and controlled release of salt and fertilizers. However, currently we are extending our works from traditional superabsorbent hydrogels to high performance hydrogels especially for tissue engineering and biomedical applications.
Preparation of oil absorbent materials has been worked in our laboratory. These materials were prepared by polymerization and crosslinking of monomers having long alkyl chains. High absorption of organic solvents in these absorbents was obtained. These materials can be used for absorption and separation of oil from water.