Biointerface Research Group
Through this research, the group aims to elucidate Biosystems (or Biologic) controlled by biological mechanisms and to design new biotechnologies. In order to produce highly new biotechnologies, it would be quite important to combine together theories of biology and engineering at a higher plane than seen before. We intend to combine techniques for manufacturing artificial neurons from IPS cells, techniques for laser manipulation of single neurons or single synapses, and concepts from neuroscience developed using physics and engineering to produce neuronal intelligence engineering that will propose new means of intelligent information processing.
New insights into brain science: from individual brain function to the synaptic mechanisms
“Biologic” is a logical yet complex system that constantly evolves through the biological balance struck between common mechanisms and diversity principles. Applying this notion to brain science allows us to aim toward an understanding of healthy and individual brains. This research focuses on a growth factor, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in an effort to provide new insights into the understanding of individual brain function.
Surface Plasmon enhanced fluorescence imaging and diagnostic techniques
Development of the rapid and sensitive biosensing technique using plasmonic chips. The electric field enhanced by the coupling between surface plasmon polaritons and irradiation light on the plasmonic chips was used for sensitive fluorescence detection of target molecules (antigens).
Creation of novel model organisms for industrial application in the future
Higher order life phenomena are controlled in a complex and detailed manner through gene expression, proteins and other biomolecules, cells, and inter-tissue interfaces; however, the relevant mechanisms remain largely unknown. This research is an effort to elucidate the mechanisms of interfaces at the molecular and cellular level, using model animals and particularly focusing on development and regeneration. Also targeted here is the development of techniques that will lead to mass production of useful proteins through artificial control.
Development of laser manipulation techniques for single neurons and single synapses
Biological neural networks are living systems that process information in response to the activity of various functional molecules by dynamically effecting change in cellular networks. This research seeks to develop technology for laser manipulation of neurons through introduction of high power laser beams into local intra-neuronal regions and pave the way to greater understanding of hierarchical systems within biological neural networks.
Techniques for creating artificial neurons from human stem cells (IPS cells, etc.)
Medical treatment technologies that make use of human embryonic stem (ES) cells have, to date, been expected to produce ground-breaking results that surpass those of extant technologies. This research seeks to construct functional neural networks in vitro through inducing differentiation of stem cells (iPS cells) created from human somatic cells and contribute to understanding the causes of psychoneurotic diseases and advances in their drug discovery research.