The Almutairi lab is highly interdisciplinary, utilizing and expanding current knowledge in nanotechnology, polymer science, and chemistry. Specifically, they develop novel smart polymers that degrade into small molecules in response to mild acid, oxidative conditions, or light (even near infrared light, which can safely penetrate living tissue). Formulating these polymers into nanoparticles and hydrogels allows delivery of a variety of cargo, from drugs to imaging agents to biological molecules. These materials enable unprecedented control over delivery and should allow complete clearance of the carrier. They could be used to create biomedical research tools, diagnostic agents, and drug formulations that rapidly advance understanding and treatment of disease. The lab is adapting their materials for specific biological research and clinical purposes, such as in vitro development of organized neural structures and delivery of therapeutics within the eye. In the process of characterizing these materials, they develop new methods of formulating nanoparticles and measuring rates of release of encapsulated molecules.