Hydrophobic Polymers Focus of DURA Award Winner Research


A recent UCF College of Engineering graduate, Ezat El-Said ’20, earned the Distinguished Undergraduate Research Award for his work in self-healing polymers with biomedical applications.

The polymers under study are hydrophobic and self-healing, with a dynamic variety of applications ranging from artificial skin grafts to metal coatings.  El-Said has been conducting his research in the laboratory of the Department of Chemistry’s Gang Chen, Ph.D, since fall of his sophomore year.

“I remember I read about these polymers and I was just fascinated,” said El-Said. “I aimed to use what I was learning about them and their incredible adhesive properties as the key to solving not just a medical puzzle, but puzzles in applications such as civil engineering.”

As El-Said looks forward to continuing his education at UCF’s College of Medicine, he is sure that research will always be a part of his career as a future doctor of medicine.

“As early as I can remember I’d take things apart and put them back together,” said El-Said. “These polymers were just the beginning. I am very excited to use what I learn in medical school as a means to ask more questions and solve more problems.”

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