Fouad Maksoud: Changing the Face of Medicine One Nanofiber at a Time
Fouad represented Lebanon in Stars of Science, the biggest scientific competition in the Middle East and won the title of Top Innovator for 2018.
Fouad Maksoud qualified for the season 9 finals in a spectacular way. He received the highest grade in the history of the show in the prototyping phase 96/100.
Lebanon hasn’t won this competition for over nine years, and Fouad nailed it with his breakthrough invention.
A Drug Delivery System in Clothes?
The invention is considered a breakthrough in the field of nanotechnology. Fouad managed to mix engineering solutions with bio-medical advancements to create a groundbreaking electrospinning machine, which produces Nanofibers one million times smaller than the human hair.
This invention will touch millions of lives as the final output will be waterproof, breathable and antibacterial clothes that deliver medicine from the inside.
The end products will be used for different health-related issues such as wound healing, third-degree burns, diabetes ulcers and muscle strains.
The concept is already patented and protected, but it was crucial for Fouad to win the $300,000 grand prize so that he receives the monetary support needed during the development and commercialization phases.
In medicine, this process takes time, resources and money due to the many different levels of R&Ds similar products go through. The exciting part is that Fouad’s plan to set up the headquarters in here in Lebanon.
How Do You Create Nanofibers?
I visited Fouad in his lab at AUB and got to see his invention first hand. I still can’t believe that these little tiny fibers may save lives in the future.
The process starts by extracting polymers from the oil and gas (eventually from our national reserve), these polymers are melted with solvents to get a viscous-like solution.
This solution is exposed to high voltage (around 40,000 volts). This exposure transforms the solution through a stretching process into Nanofibers, 1 million times smaller than the human hair.
The exciting part is that these Nanofibers are biocompatible and biodegradable, durable, have high adhesion, and the whole process is eco-friendly.
The Nanofibers can be impregnated with drugs to transform the wearable items into drug delivery systems.
Fouad Maksoud and Stars of Science:
Fouad has a BS in Petrochemical Engineering, another in Chemistry, and a Master’s Degree in Chemical engineering and has done graduate studies in mechanical engineering at AUB.
At the time of his graduation from AUB, Maksoud received a certificate of outstanding research and achievement from the Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering at The Maroun Semaan Faculty of Engineering and Architecture.
Stars of Science was broadcasted on LBCI as well as other regional stations.
Great work Fouad, you made us proud!