Dr Khaled Saoud, a Physics Professor at the Liberal Arts and Science Program of Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts in Qatar (VCUarts Qatar) was recently awarded a Technology Development Fund (TDF) grant from Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF) for his development of an aerogel resin for 3D printing.

Dr Khaled
Dr Khaled Saoud

The technology will allow the production of personalised medical products and devices such as prosthetic hands, legs, joints, dental implants, and hearing aids.

Saoud said he is excited about the project and expects the technology to solve many problems in the medical and aerospace industry. He explained that he aims to develop and optimise the resin, based on a Silica aerogel/polymer composite, for stereolithography-based 3D printing technology. The robust aerogel resin formulation which makes ultralight, strong materials can be applied in a multitude of ways.

The resin will enable the 3D printing of a strong, ultra-light, flexible, highly porous, biodegradable, biocompatible product with minimum shrinkage, using rapid prototyping capability. It will also pave the way for 3D printing of different types of porous materials such as graphene aerogel and metal organic framework.

TDF provides gap funding for early-stage, promising technologies that may be further developed to increase their commercialisation potential. The objective is also to build a robust, valuable intellectual property portfolio in Qatar’s priority research areas.

Dr Michael Rao, President of Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) and VCU Health System, praised Saoud for his work.

This is an outstanding accomplishment and I know you are as proud and excited as we all are for you. Thank you for all that you do on behalf of VCU and again, congratulations on the award.

According to Abeer Al Hammadi, Director of Innovation and Economic Development at QF RDI, the objective of TDF is to make market-driven technologies less risky and more attractive to potential licensees.  He said that they are are delighted to provide such funds to the state-of-the art aerogel technology developed by Dr Khaled.

The technology so far has attracted many entrepreneurs and private players in different applications.

QF established the Qatar National Research Fund in 2006 to affirm its commitment to establish Qatar as a knowledge-based economy. QF views research as essential to national and regional growth, as the means to diversify the nation’s economy, enhance educational offerings and develop areas that affect the community.

Find out more about VCUarts Qatar at qatar.vcu.edu.