Tohoku University. Research Profiles

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"Y" Researcher - 20 Result(s)

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Development of Fall-Prevention Footwear Based on Mechanical Analysis of Slip-Related Falls

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Features
The number of fatalities due to falling accidents indoor/outdoor has increased in Japan as well as in other advanced countries. The fatalities due to falling accidents in a year have exceeded those due to traffic accidents in Japan recently. Because more than 80% of the fatalities are elderly people, it is considered an urgent issue to prevent their falling. We have conducted researches on falling during walking due to induced slip, in the contact interface of shoe sole and floor, through tribological and biomechanical approaches. We clarified the required values of static friction coefficient (figure 1), between shoe sole and floor, and how to gait to prevent slipping through kinetic analysis of gait. We also succeeded in the development of a unique footwear outsole having the high-grip property (figure 2) and high slip-resistant concrete pavement blocks (figure 3) through the collaboration with regional companies. We have recently conducted research and development of footwear that is able to prevent falls due to balance loss after slipping.

Targeted Application(s)/Industry
Products for fall prevention in daily life or in work site. Evaluation of slip resistance of footwear and floor materials.

Graduate School of Engineering
YAMAGUCHI, Takeshi, Associate Professor Doctor of Engineering

Drug Development for Fundamental Treatment of Alzheimer's Disease

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Features
<strong>Background: </strong>Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disorder with a large unmet medical need. Recently, our pilot clinical study suggested the possibility that 1-year oral administration of decocted nobiletin-rich Citrus reticulata peel could be of benefit for improving the cognition of patients with AD, with the following pharmacological features: 1) this Kampo medicine includes a large amount of nobiletin that can rescue the memory impairment and prevents hippocampal amyloid beta accumulation in APP-Tg mice, as originally reported by us, and 2) the medicine reversed impaired learning and memory to a greater degree than nobiletin in animal, to which sinensetin, another constituent contributes in large part.
<strong>Research plan:</strong> We thus try to identify endogenous molecules that can bind selectively to nobiletin and sinensetin in hippocampal neurons, and to further synthesize novel compounds that are capable of more potently improving learning and memory impairment in animals than both natural compounds.

Targeted Application(s)/Industry
Our research goal is discovery of the drugs for fundamental treatment of AD. I hope to conduct collaborative research with a willing company for a practical application of this technology in industry.

Department of Pharmacotherapy, Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences
YAMAKUNI, Tohru, Associate Professor PhD

Low-Temperature Synthesis of SiC Porous Bulk by Using Na

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Features
SiC ceramics is generally prepared at high temperature of 1200–2000ºC. We are able to prepare SiC at around 700ºC by using Na. Nano-powder of beta-type SiC was obtained from a mixture of Si and carbon powders in a Na melt. SiC porous ceramics were synthesized by heating mixtures of Si powder and carbon black at 700–900ºC in Na vapor. Biomorphic cellular SiC ceramics were formed by heating carbonized woods at 700 ºC with a Na-Si melt.

Targeted Application(s)/Industry
Applications : SiC porous ceramics are used in a wide range of applications, such as filters for gas or molten metal, diesel particle filters, catalysis supports, and light-weight structural materials.
Industry : Ceramic Engineering

Institute of Multidisciplinary Research for Advanced Materials
YAMANE, Hisanori, Professor Doctor of Science

Research in Dynamism of Culture, Society, Religion and Languages in Contemporary South Asia

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Features
Prof. Yamashita, a specialist of religio-anthropological and ethno-linguistic studies in contemporary South Asia (India and neighboring countries in that region), particularly in a southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu with Chennai as its capital city. His extensive research topics include Indian culture, society, languages, religious communities, and environmental affairs of the Subcontinent. In collaboration with National Museum of Ethnology, Osaka, he is currently making intensive survey on various aspects of religio-cultural "dynamism" in contemporary India and its diaspora as well. Apart from the recent development of his interest, Prof. Yamashita has been constantly and vigorously gathering information and research materials of latest development of Indian industry, such as manufacturing industries, telecommunication, medical tourism, entertainment business, automobile industries, etc., as is published in his recent titles.

Targeted Application(s)/Industry
He is prepared to provide to companies interested in his research topics latest knowledge and information of contemporary India and Indian diaspora.

Graduate School of International Cultural Studies
YAMASHITA, Hiroshi, Professor PhD

Science of Next-Generation Higher-Order Functional Nano Metal Complex

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Features
We focus on high-order functional magnetic, conductivity, and optical properties, and dielectrics, which will be used in the next-generation devices, on the basis of "quantum effects and novel non-linearity". We are synthesizing high-order functional nano hybrid materials.

Targeted Application(s)/Industry
We have conducted materials research to realize "quantum computers", "optical computers", "large-capacity high-speed optical communications", "high-density magnetic memories", and "single-molecule memories" in the near future, and we are looking forward to collaborating with electronics industries.

WPI Advanced Institute for Materials Research / Department of Chemistry Graduate School of Science
YAMASHITA, Masahiro, Professor

Development of New Stents using Mechanical Polishing

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Improvement of durability is one of the most important requirements for implantation devices. EN14299 required that fatigue testing should include in vitro testing of at least 400 million cycles (10 years equivalent). Failure of stent has several reasons which are long-term fatigue, impurity inclusions, damage during tube processing, slotting and polishing. Our research is aiming to determine that the mechanical polishing technology is more low roughness than the electrical polishing technology. Another mission we have is what we develop innovative laser cutting system for stent by using our original method at Translational Research center.

Innovation of New Biomedical Engineering Center, Graduate School of Engineering
YAMAUCHI, Kiyoshi, Research Professional Doctor of Engineering

Quantitative Evaluation of the Baroreflex Sensitivity of the Heart and Artery

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Features
Metabolic syndrome is an important view point, when we consider the preventive medicine. Hypertension is one of the most important points to prevent the cardiovascular events. However, there is no method to measure the baroreflex sensitivity of the artery in the patients with hypertension. Tohoku University had invented the new method to evaluate the baroreflex sensitivity of the heart and artery (JP Patent No.4789203).

Targeted Application(s)/Industry
By the use of this machine, the baroreflex sensitivity of an artery in the patients can easily be measured noninvasively. It enables to predict the occurrence of hypertension and evaluate the therapy of hypertension easily, while allowing prevention of the cardiovascular events.

Institute of Development, Aging and Cancer
YAMBE, Tomoyuki, Professor

Molecular Imaging from Basic Research to Clinical Application

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Features
Molecular Imaging and its Application to Drug Development: Positron emission tomography (PET) comprises the administration of carbon-11- or fluorine-18-labeled tracers to human subjects in order to describe the concentration-time profile in body tissues targeted for treatment. As PET involves the administration of only microgram amounts of unlabeled drug, the potential risk to human subjects is very limited. Consequently, required preclinical safety testing is reduced as compared to conventional human studies.

Targeted Application(s)/Industry
PET molecular imaging studies are gaining increasing importance in clinical drug research, as they have the potential to shorten time-lines and cut costs along the critical path of drug development. We have developed several PET tracers for molecular imaging such as amyloid imaging and central nervous system drug research at Tohoku University, Japan. We will present the recent progress and strategy of "PET molecular imaging" in order to accelerate drug development.

Department of Pharmacology, Graduate School of Medicine, and Cyclotron and Radioisotope Center
YANAI, Kazuhiko, Professor, Director of the Center MD., PhD

Optical Manipulation of Neurons

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Features
Channelrhodopsins, light-sensitive proteins derived from green algae, are the natural photo-electric transducers. They are now applied to drive nerve cells and cardiac muscles by light under the name of optogenetics. We are generating and distributing channelrhodopsin variants optimized for optogenetics, animals such as mice, rats and zebrafishes as well as culture cells that are harboring channelrhodopsin variants. We are also developing the optical systems for manipulating above materials by light.

Targeted Application(s)/Industry
Drug discovery (assay/screening), Environment assessment, Medical devices, eg. a pacemaker replacing electricity with light as signaling.

Graduate School of Life Sciences
YAWO, Hiromu, Professor MD, PhD

Highly Functional Semiconductor Lasers and Nanoimaging Applications

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Features
We are pursuing the ultimate functions of semiconductor lasers and their application potentials. Concerning the application research aspect, development of advanced biomedical technologies, in which photonic methods play key roles, is an important issue. Such applied science field is called to be biophotonics, and a goal of our biophotonics research is to accomplish a high-resolution imaging for very deep sites of bio-tissues by employing nonlinear optical effects. Another important issue is the super-resolution "nanoimaging", which can provide nanometer-scale spatial resolution images by optical methods.
To realize the above functionalities, very advanced light sources are required. For example, features of ultrashort temporal duration, high peak-power, and broadband wavelength selectivity should be incorporated. With this background, we are developing highly functional light sources based on the semiconductor laser technologies; these light sources will be practical (real-world-use) ones, rather than just for scientific use. The core of our technology is the novel semiconductor laser, which can produce ultrashort and high-peak-power light pulses.

Targeted Application(s)/Industry
Regarding academic-industrial cooperative research subjects, we expect to produce novel functional light sources that are compact, stable, cost effective, and thus widely usable for real world applications. Advanced biomedical measurement and diagnostic systems with these light sources will be also developed.

New Industry Creation Hatchery Center (NICHe)
YOKOYAMA, Hiroyuki, Professor Doctor of Engineering

Novel high-throughput screening systems for new antibiotics targeting bacterial virulence factors

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Chemotherapy toward bacterial infection, which dates back to the discovery of penicillin, opened up the golden era of antibiotics. Thereafter, various clinically important antibiotics were introduced into the clinic, and hence serious bacterial infectious diseases were eradicated. However, this ephemeral hope has been disappearing due to the emergence of antibiotic resistant pathogens toward every new antibiotics launched into the clinic, such as multidrug-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). To combat these life-threatening pathogens, there is a pressing need to develop new antibiotics. However, new antibiotics discovered in the future will be nullified by development of resistance to these antibiotics, since their targets are essential for bacterial survival. From this aspect in which inhibitors of the essential functions inevitably select resistant mutants, bacterial virulence could be a fascinating target for developing new antibiotics, because virulence attenuators are thought to be less likely to generate resistance. We focus on a novel protein translocation system, Tat, since this system appears to be involved in several aspects of bacterial virulence and is not present in mammalian cells, and iron-metabolism-associated system as novel targets for development of their inhibitors. We hope to conduct collaborative research with a willing company for a practical application of this technology in industry.

Graduate School of Agriculture
YONEYAMA, Hiroshi, Associate Professor Doctor of Medicine

Economics of Aging

Features
I investigate on the economics of aging, the optimal social welfare policy, low fertility and so on not based on the historical and systematic approach but based on the neo-classical economic theory. I also use econometric method and statistical approach. I often estimate the future projections of the population, public finance, magnitude of private markets, the results of public policies.
I also research on the comparative studies on East Asia (Japan, China, Korea, Taiwan) and European (especially Scandinavian countries). I provide statistic data and information on the economic and political systems on the aging in Japan.

Targeted Application(s)/Industry
The future estimation on the financial status , market caused by low fertility and aging. The effective management of the medical institutions, social welfare systems, gender equality societies for the central and local government, research institutions, public enterprises, and financial Institutions.

Graduate School of Economics and Managemant
YOSHIDA, Hiroshi, Professor

Research and Development of Space Exploration Robots

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Features
We study and develop mobile robotics technology for lunar and planetary exploration. Our technology is featured by rich experience in locomotion mechanisms for highly rough terrain and advanced slippage control in loose soil environment. Also by 3D map building technology using a laser scanner for autonomous collision avoidance and for operator assistance in remote control/tele-operation. We also contributed to the design and development of Hayabusa and Hayabusa-2, which are sample-return probes developed and operated by Japanese space agency JAXA.

Targeted Application(s)/Industry
These technologies are also applied to terrestrial robots for such as surveillance or disaster response.

Department of Aerospace Engineering, Graduate School of Engineering
YOSHIDA, Kazuya, Professor Doctor of Engineering

Design and Development of 50 kg-class Micro Satellites

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Features
We design and develop micro satellites in a format of 50 cm cubic size and 50 kg mass. We have developed the first and second micro satellites of Tohoku University, named “RISING” and “RISING-2”, launched by using JAXA’s H-IIA rocket vehicle in January 2009 and May 2014, respectively. Both satellites are operated from our ground station in the university. Particularly, RISING-2 has succeeded in capturing high precision color images of the Earth's surface at a spatial resolution of 5m, the highest in the world among 50kg-class satellites. Now the third micro satellite for international science mission is under the development. In addition, we are active in nano satellite development. The first nano-sat “RAIKO” in a 10 by 10 by 20 cm format was launched from the International Space Station in 2012. More nano-sats are under the development.

Targeted Application(s) / Industry
We would like to make innovation in space business by introducing a new paradigm for rapid and low cost development of space systems for various missions of remote sensing, earth observation, and space exploration. We have rich experience in the development of spacecraft bus systems, onboard avionics systems and mission instruments. Collaborations with technology and business partners are welcome.

Department of Aerospace Engineering, Graduate School of Engineering
YOSHIDA, Kazuya, Professor Doctor of Engineering

Development of Novel Scintillator and Piezoelectric Crystals

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Features
Our research target is mainly focused on the topic of development of novel scintillator crystals, piezoelectric crystals, growth technology, characterization and its device application.
We design and synthesize new materials from a view point of Crystal Chemistry, and investigate their structure and physical properties. We also study on photo-detector, as suitable photo-detector fully contribute to get maximum signal from scintillator. This activity is very important to realize practical application of our developed materials. Recently, piezoelectric material and high melting temperature alloy project is also started.

Targeted Application(s)/Industry
For the purpose of "real" contribution to human culture, we are always carrying out our research activity considering the industrial application. This point is unique feature of our attitude toward science.

Research Laboratory on Advanced Crystal Engineering, Institute for Materials Research
YOSHIKAWA, Akira, Professor Doctor of Science

Chemical Recycling of Problematic Polymeric Wastes

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Features
The Yoshioka Laboratory works on the recycling of various polymers by thermal and wet processes. Plastics such as poly(ethylene terephthalate) (PET), polyvinyl chloride (PVC), and high impact polystyrene (HIPS) cause serious problems during their recycling for the recycling process and the environment. However, these materials can also be seen as a resource for new materials. The decarboxylation of PET results in high yields of benzene that can be used as a chemical feedstock. Another important feature is the dehalogenation of flame retarded plastics and PVC. Dechlorinated plastic waste can be an important source for hydrocarbons, which can be used as fuels and chemical feedstock. The chemical modification of PVC offers the possibility of new materials with new properties. Modified PVC can be used as antibacterial material or as a material with ion exchange properties. The removal of brominated flame retardants from HIPS leads to higher recovery rates of styrene during thermal processing. When a wet process is used, the resulting flame retardant free HIPS can be reused.

Targeted Application(s)/Industry
We are eager to help companies to overcome their problems during recycling and recovery, and provide solutions for the treatment of waste materials.

Graduate School of Environmental Studies
YOSHIOKA, Toshiaki, Professor Graduate School of Engineering

Project “The Mirror Magical”: Remote and Non-Contact Extraction of Biological Information

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Features
We engage in development of a cyber-medical system, “The Mirror Magical” for taking a medical check-up anytime and anywhere by use of information and communication technology (ICT). We only have to stand still in front of the mirror to check our autonomic nervous function related to baroreflex on the basis of video signals capable of remote and non-contact measurement. Demonstration experiments have been held to verify the validity of the system in estimation of blood pressure variability and the effects of physical exercise.

Targeted Application(s)/Industry
We can conduct effective collaborative research using the system not only in medical and welfare fields but also for application to smartphones, automobiles, emotion recognition robots, security cameras, sports broadcast and so on.

Research Division on Advanced Information Technology, Cyberscience Center
YOSHIZAWA, Makoto, Professor Doctor of Engineering

A Study on the Proper Waste Management and Urban Mining Project in Asian Countries; International Resources Recycling and Cross-Border Pollution

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Features
The objective of this research is to maximize international resource recycling efficiency through a feasibility assessment of urban mining project in East Asia. It is not only focused on valuable materials but also on less valuable materials like waste plastics. The merit of this approach is its consideration of social, economic and environmental systems in each country.

Targeted Application(s)/Industry
This research is envisioned to support the establishment of resource recycling systems, developing new business models, people-to-people exchange and information sharing.

Graduate School of International Cultural Studies
YU, Jeongsoo, Professor PhD(Urban and Regional Planning)

Development of Renewable Energy Systems for Sustainable Development Society

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Features
Development of renewable energy systems as well as research on high efficient energy conversion systems is a key technology to solve the global-scale environmental destruction and energy problems. We are working on the research on the advanced technology of renewable energy such as solar energy and hydrogen. Topics of research are two of the following roughly separately. 
(1) Development of highly effective thermal energy systems and energy saving systems by using spectral control of thermal radiation. 
(2) Aiming at the achievement of the hydrogen energy society, we develop new energy conversion devices based on solid state ionics, and perform feasible studies for solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) based on mechanics of materials.

Targeted Application(s)/Industry
High temperature solar absorption materials
High effieciency solar-termophotovoltaic (STPV) system
Small power source for mobile electric devices based on micro-SOFC
New energy harvesting devices in harsh environment

Department of Mechanical Systems and Design, Graduate School of Engineering
YUGAMI, Hiroo, Professor Doctor of Engineering

Fabrication of Imitative Stress Corrosion Cracking Specimens for the Development of Nondestructive Evaluation Techniques

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Features
The emergence of stress corrosion cracking is one of the most important issues from the viewpoint of aging management and maintenance of nuclear power plants. There is a large discrepancy between stress corrosion cracking and other cracks such as fatigue cracks from the viewpoint of nondestructive testing and evaluations, which requires suitable specimens containing stress corrosion cracking for the development of nondestructive testing and evaluation techniques and also for personnel training. However, artificially introducing stress corrosion cracking needs large cost and long time. Furthermore, several studies have pointed out that such articial stress corrosion cracking is not always similar to natural ones. On the basis of the background above, we develop a method to fabricate "imitative" stress corrosion cracking specimens using diffusion bonding.

Targeted Application(s)/Industry
The method enables one to introduce a region whose response is almost identical to actual stress corrosion cracking from the viewpoint of nondestructive testing. Whereas the dimension of the region is accurately controllable, the method requires much less cost and time comparing the conventional ones using corrosive environment. Patent is already applied for.

Department of Quantum Science and Energy Engineering , Graduate School of Engineering
YUSA, Noritaka, Associate Professor Doctor of Engineering