Tohoku University. Research Profiles

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"D" Theme - 78 Result(s)

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Development of Nano-Interface Chemistry for Materials Sciences Using Surface Forces Measurement

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Our research aims at developing methods, including instrumentation, for characterizing surface (or interface) at the nano-meter level. Most of our research subjects are related to the surface forces measurement, which can directly monitor the interaction between two surfaces. We study phenomena occurring at the solid-liquid interface such as adsorption and structuring of liquids. We have developed the resonance shear measurement which is a sensitive method for evaluating properties of confined liquid for nano-rheology and tribology. Twin-path surface forces apparatus we developed enabled us to study wide variety of samples such as metals, ceramics and plastics.

Targeted Application(s)/Industry

These methods are applicable for characterizing lubricants, nano-materials, paints, sealants, and cosmetics. We hope to conduct collaborative research with a willing company for a practical application of this technology in industry.

Institute of Multidisciplinary Research for Advanced Materials
KURIHARA, Kazue, Professor Doctor of Engineering

Development of Nano-Medical-Agricultural Applied Technology Using Ion-Controlled Plasma

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Since we have developed the techniques (ion control plasma) to generate and control ions, electrons, reactive species (radicals) in the low temperature non-equilibrium plasmas which I can touch by hand, the composite materials using nanoparticles, nanocarbons, biological molecules are synthesized in the nano-electronics field, the minimally-invasive and highly-efficient drug/gene transfection systems are developed in the medical field, and bacteria and insects are killed by the plasma in place of pesticide in the agricultural field.

Targeted Application(s)/Industry

The ion-controlled plasmas are applied for the minimally-invasive gene transfection system, next-generation agricultural system, the electrode material of highly-efficient battery, and so on. We hope to conduct the collaborative research with a willing company for a practical application of the novel plasma nano-medical-agricultural applied technology in industry.

Department of Electronic Engineering, Graduate School of Engineering
KANEKO, Toshiro, Professor PhD

Development of nanometer-scale surface vibrational spectroscopy and its application to actual devices

Features

In recent years, limitations of downscaling in silicon based device technologies have come to be well recognized, and alternatives based on new operation principles and/or novel materials are being extensively explored. It is also well recognized that developments of such alternatives have to be started from a few of tens nanometer scale in device sizes. Hence evaluations of materials with corresponding spatial resolution are required. Our research group utilized scanning tunneling microscopy as a tool to elucidate the photo-electronic properties of the materials in atomic scale. This study intends to develop a new vibrational spectroscopic method with the nanometer-scale resolution and to apply this method to actual device evaluations. We hope to conduct collaborative research with a willing company for a practical application of this technology in industry.

Targeted Application(s)/Industry

Research Institute of Electrical Communication
UEHARA, Yoichi, Professor Doctor of Engineering

Development of New Drugs and Devices Regulating Inter-Organ Neural Network for Obesity Therapy

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Obesity induced the metabolic syndrome, which causes cardiovascular diseases. Obesity has now become a major health concern not only in developed countries but developing countries. However, diet and exercise are still major therapies. We discovered endogenous systems maintaining homeostasis of energy metabolism and revealed several neuronal networks among organs to be responsible for the regulation systems.
1) Afferent neuronal signals from adipose tissue regulate appetite and prevent over-eating during obesity development (Cell Metab 2006)
2) Neuronal network from the liver enhances basal metabolic rates to prevent obesity development when energy store is increasing (Science 2006) 3) Neuronal network from the liver suppresses adaptive thermogenesis in brown adipose tissue (Cell Metab 2012).

Targeted Application(s)/Industry

On the basis of these original discoveries, we are aiming at developing new drugs and/or building devices which regulate the inter-organ neuronal networks and hope to conduct collaborative research with a willing company for a practical application to obesity therapy.

Center for Metabolic Diseases, Graduate School of Medicine
KATAGIRI, Hideki, Professor MD, PhD

Development of new materials based on the calculation of thermodynamic properties through electronic theory

Features

We are conducting studies on computing the free energies of materials; the structures and physical properties of grain boundaries and stacking faults; and the thermodynamic properties of the liquid and glassy phases by coupling first-principles calculations and cluster variation methods, as well as quantum molecular dynamics.

Targeted Application(s)/Industry

Furthermore, the world’s highest-purity materials are produced through a combination of chemical and physical refining methods to confirm the calculated thermodynamic properties with high accuracy and to develop new materials such as magnetic materials, semiconductors, and lightweight materials based on Mg and Al alloys.

Institute of Multidisciplinary Research for Advanced Materials
OHTANI, Hiroshi, Professor Doctor of Engineering

Development of new methods and apparatus for industrial elemental analysis

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A goal of our research is to develop new instrumental methods in quantitative elemental analysis. We have suggested a new analytical method enabling trace elements at a few ppm level to be directly determined. We now study analytical applications of a low-pressure laser induced plasma as well as a glow discharge plasma associated with laser ablation, in order to carry out rapid analysis for the process control in material industries and for selection of scrapped materials.

Targeted Application(s)/Industry

Industry: We have already conducted cooperative research on industrial analyses with several metal-making companies as well as the iron and steel institute of Japan. We also hope cooperative works on practical analysis in various manufacturing fields.

Institute for Materials Research
WAGATSUMA, Kazuaki, Professor Doctor Eng.

Development of New Reactions Using Organocatalyst

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Organocatalyst is a synthetically useful catalyst in synthetic organic chemistry, because of the several merits. We have been investigating the development of new and efficient organocatalysts derived from proline. We have already reported the diphenylprolinol silyl ether, which is called as a Jorgensen-Hayashi catalyst, and siloxyproline, which is effective in the presence of water. We have also developed several practical asymmetric catalytic reactions based on the organocatalysts. We also applied these reactions to the total synthesis of natural products and drugs. We have already synthesized Tamiflu in one-pot reaction, and prostaglandin E1 methyl ester via three one-pot procedure.

Targeted Application(s)/Industry

Our newly developed reactions using organocatalysis can be widely used for synthesis of medicines, agrichemicals, and chemical products.

Department of Chemistry, Graduate School of Science
HAYASHI, Yujiro, Professor Doctor of Science

Development of next-generation sterilization method by a plasma flow at atmospheric pressure

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Plasma sterilization has been developed as an alternative sterilization method due to its chemical activity, operation at low temperature and atmospheric pressure, low power consumption, low cost and safety. We have studied a mechanism of chemical species generation and transport in a plasma flow and, the sterilization efficacy and mechanism for several plasma sources at atmospheric pressure, such as a microwave plasma flow, a dielectric barrier discharge in a tube and a water vapor plasma flow. We already clarified that the damages of outer membrane and destructions of the cytoplasmic membrane of Escherichia coli by exposure to the microwave plasma flow. Fig. 1 shows the effect of plasma exposure on the E. coli. When the E. coli was exposed to the plasma, the height of the E. coli decreased and the potassium leakage of cytoplasmic material increased. For sterilization in a tube, we also clarified that an induced flow in the narrow tube by DBD transports chemical species and sterilize the whole inside surface of a tube as shown in Fig. 2. We hope to conduct collaborative research with a willing company for a practical application of this technology in industry.

Institute of Fluid Science
SATO, Takehiko, Professor Doctor of Engineering

Development of Novel Bone Substitute Biomaterials Showing Highly Osteoconductive Property

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Novel bone substitute biomaterials should have a property not only to support cellular attachment on the material surfaces but also activate cellular function of osteoblasts that promote regeneration of bone tissue. Our laboratory successfully developed such materials composed of octacalcium phosphate (OCP) (Suzuki O et al. Biomaterials 27:2671, 2006), obtained by a restricted synthesis condition originally developed, with specific crystal characteristics, and various natural polymers, such as gelatin, collagen, alginate and hyaluronic acid. The materials consist from OCP and these polymers are capable of enhancing new bone formation concomitant with their own biodegradations. The concept to develop such materials is that (1) design of reaction of calcium phosphate ceramics and the synthesis; (2) design of material strength to meet the mechanical stress from living body; (3) selection of natural and synthetic polymer materials for the calcium phosphate ceramics.

Targeted Application(s)/Industry

We are prepared to provide academic consultations to companies interested in our research.

Division of Craniofacial Function Engineering, Graduate School of Dentistry
SUZUKI, Osamu, Professor Doctor in Medical Sciencese

Development of Novel Scintillator and Piezoelectric Crystals

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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

Development of Open Nanoporous Base and Half Metals, Metalloids and their Alloys

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Nanoporous metals have drawn considerable attention due to their highly functional properties. They are generally produced by selective dissolution of elements from a multicomponent alloy (known as the dealloying method). As this method is based on differences in the electrode potential of each element present in the alloy, and this potential is high for noble metals, porous structure can be obtained only for noble metals. Recently we have found a new, simple and easy dealloying method without using aqueous solution, which enable us to develop an open nanoporous non-oxidized metallic material even with base metals (such as Ti, Ni, Cr, Fe, Mo, etc), metalloids and their alloys.

Targeted Application(s)/Industry

This technique is very powerful for developing new functional electrodes, catalysts, filters as well for removing toxic metallic element from the surface of biomaterials containing the toxic element.

Institute for Materials Research
KATO, Hidemi, Professor PhD (Engineering)

Development of Optical Sysytems for Noninvasive Treatment and Diagnosis

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Optical fiber-based endoscopic systems for non-invasive treatment and diagnosis are developed. The fiber transmits high-powered laser light for treatment and low-powered light for diagnosis. We develop treatment and diagnosis systems utilizing not only common glass-based optical fibers but hollow-optical fibers. Hollow optical fibers deliver high-powered infrared lasers and light with wide range of wavelength from ultraviolet and far infrared.

Targeted Application(s)/Industry

Our potential collaborators will be medical device manufactures, as well as any electronic device, communication device, and measurement instrument manufactures considering new entry to the field.

Graduate School of Biomedical Engineering
MATSUURA, Yuji, Professor

Development of Passive Millimeter-wave Imaging Device for Practical Applications

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Millimeter wave (MM-wave) which is one of the electromagnetic wave transparent the clothes, the fire and the wall etc. and all natural materials including objects in clothes always radiate the electromagnetic wave as the thermal noise. Using these characteristics of MM-wave, imaging of concealed objects in clothes can be accomplished in a noninvasive and noncontact manner. This technique is called Passive Millimeter Wave (PMMW) Imaging technique and we have developed a PMMW imaging device for security applications.

The wave length of MM-wave frequency range is from 1 mm to 10 mm and the spatial resolution of images in MM-wave range is low compared with sub-millimeter (terahertz) range or Infra-Red range, however, higher transmittance through clothes can be obtained compared with higher frequency range. Furthermore, low noise amplifier (LNA) exists which could be the advantage of MM-wave compared with higher frequency ranges.

Now the device was developed for the purpose of keeping safe and secure aircrafts and ships etc., we hope to conduct collaborative research with a willing company for a practical application of this technology in industrial fields such as the fire rescue, the police equipment and the medical devices.

Graduate school of Engineering
SATO, Hiroyasu, Assistant Professor Doctor of Engineering

Development of PHD-Targeted Drug for Ischemic Injury

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All the living organisms generate energy from molecular oxygen to maintain their own lives. Once the concentration of oxygen falls down, life activity gets severely hampered and it could sometimes cause death. Typical examples that are related to local hypoxia are ischemic heart disease, stroke and kidney disease.
We focus on the function of prolyl hydroxylase (PHD) as a sensor to detect the hypoxia, and we are developing drugs to treat ischemic injury by controlling hypoxia.

Targeted Application(s)/Industry

Currently, we have several compounds that inhibit the PHD. We want to commercialize in conjunction with pharmaceutical companies in Japan and overseas, advancing our non-clinical studies for clinical development.

Division of Molecular Medicine and Therapy, United Centers for Advanced Research and Translational Medicine (ART), Graduate School of Medicine
MIYATA, Toshio, Professor M.D., PhD

Development of Potential Thermoelectric Materials

Features

We have been exploring novel thermoelectric materials. Functions of a solid substance primarily depend on the electronic structure, directly derived from its crystal structure. Through high-quality structure analyses using neutron and X-ray diffraction, combined with first-principles calculations, we have been fabricating materials with desired functions. To date, more than 40 novel materials have been discovered based on our guiding principles.

Targeted Application(s)/Industry

For developing future device technologies, challenges on thin-film thermionic multilayers and organic thermoelectric materials are currently underway.

Graduate School of Engineering
MIYAZAKI, Yuzuru, Professor Doctor of Engineering

Development of preventive medicine for aortic aneurysm and dissection of Marfan syndrome

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Marfan’s syndrome (MF) is a severe, systemic disorder of connective tissue formation. A variety of MFS therapies have been developed, including surgical therapy for aortic root aneurysm and dissection (AAD) that are life-threatening, traditional medical therapies such as β-adrenergic receptor or angiotensin II receptor blockers for slow aortic growth and to decrease the risk of AAD. However these treatments did not prevent tissue destruction in the AAD of MF. To develop preventive strategy for AAD, it will be necessary to identify molecular mechanisms of microfibril formation and an appropriate fibrillin-1 microfibril associated molecule. Recently, ADAMTSL6β, which is a microfibril-associated extracellular matrix protein contributes the regeneration of microfibril by promoting fibrillin-microfibril assembly. We try to develop ADAMTSL6β as a preventive medicine for AAD of MF by regeneration of fibrillin-1 microfibril assembly.

Targeted Application(s)/Industry

Graduate School of Dentistry, Division of Operative Dentistry, Department of Restorative Dentistry
SAITO, Masahiro, Professor Doctor of Dentistry

Development of Production System of Valuable Proteins Using a Koji-Mold, Aspergillus Oryzae, as a Host

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Because a koji-mold, Aspergillus oryzae, has an ability to secret a higher amount of proteins and is regarded as a safe microorganism, it has been expected as a promising host for production of useful proteins derived from plants and animals. However, Aspergillus oryzae produces various proteolytic enzymes that could degrade heterologous proteins produced, and hence we constructed mutant strains in which a transcription factor gene involved in proteolytic enzyme production was disrupted. In addition, codon optimization of heterologous gene resulted in a significant increase in the stability of heterologous gene transcripts. These attempts would lead to an increase in the amount of valuable proteins produced.

Targeted Application(s)/Industry

The technology could be applied to the high-level production of pharmaceutical proteins and industrially useful enzymes. We look forward to developing the collaborative project with enzyme and pharmaceutical industries.

Graduate School of Agricultural Science
GOMI, Katsuya, Professor PhD

Development of Recycling Technology for High-Water Content Sludge by Using Fiber Materials

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The recycling rate of construction muds and sludge is very low because the water content of these muds is very high and direct reuse of them is very difficult. Therefore, a new recycling technology for high-water content sludge has been developed in this laboratory. This technology is called "Fiber-Cement-Stabilized Soil Method", and it uses fiber materials and cement. The main feature of this method is to mix the fiber materials with the sludge, and the fiber materials included in the soil produce several geotechnical merits.

Targeted Application(s)/Industry

The modified soils produced by this method can be used as ground materials for reinforced embankment of the river bank and soil structures because they have several features such as high failure strength, high failure strain high durability for drying and wetting and high dynamic strength.

Graduate School of Environmental Studies
TAKAHASHI, Hiroshi, Professor Doctor of Engineering

Development of Renewable Energy Systems for Sustainable Development Society

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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

Development of Sensors and Measuring Systems for Ultra-Precision Manufacturing and Nanomanufacturing

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The research is being focused on measurement of surface forms of precision workpieces and stage motions of precision machines, which are important items for ultra-precision manufacturing and nanomanufacturing. Optical sensors are being developed for measurement of angle and displacement, which are fundamental quantities for manufacturing. Technologies for improvement of the sensor sensitivity and bandwidth, reduction of the sensor size as well as new multi-axis sensing methods are being The research is being focused on measurement of surface forms of precision workpieces and stage motions of precision machines. Optical sensors are being developed for measurement of angle and displacement. A number of scanning-type measuring systems for precision measurement of surface forms and stage motions are also being developed. Error separation algorithms and systems for straightness and roundness, which are the most fundamental geometries treated in ultra-precision manufacturing, are being investigated. Novel systems based on scanning probe microscopy are under development for micro- and nano-structures as well as freeform optics in responding to new and important challenges from ultra-precision manufacturing and nanomanufacturing.

Targeted Application(s)/Industry

The multi-axis optical displacement and angle sensors developed in the laboratory are expected to measure motions of semiconductor/IC manufacturing and inspection equipment, precision machine tools, ultra-precision measuring instrument. The surface profile measurement systems are expected t play an important role in ultra-precision manufacturing and nanomanufacturing industries.

Department of Nanomechanics, Graduate School of Engineering
GAO, Wei, Professor PhD