We have been created biocompatible materials that meet the functional requirements of the biological system, implantable artificial organs for the purpose of control and advanced behalf of the biological function and biochips to be used in the analysis of biological information such as the genome, proteins, cells and regeneration of tissues and organs. In recent years, we have focused on “epigenetics engineering” to control gene expression without changing DNA sequence. We have aimed to create new materials for the treatment of lifestyle-related diseases and the control of cell differentiation and dedifferentiation.
Reactive oxygen species (ROS) act as signaling molecules. However, excess ROS cause severe diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and myocardial infraction. Among ROS, we have focused on superoxide and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) to play a key role in the pathogenesis of the ROS-related diseases. We have synthesized cationic Mn-porphyrin derivatives with superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity and catalase (H2O2 dismutation) activity. Moreover, we have started a new strategy to enhance the pharmaceutical effect of Mn-porphyrin derivatives. Recently, we are focusing on the nanocarrier for brain delivery, the relationship between H2O2 and epigenetics, the Mn-porphyrin dimers with metal-chelating property, and the Mn-porphyrin supramolecules with antioxidative activities.
Highly functional separation materials
Recently, various efforts against global warming have been carried out across the world. Carbon Dioxide Capture and Storage (CCS) technique is one of the most valuable techniques for CO2-reduction. In the separating and recovering CO2 process on CCS, membrane separation is an effective way in terms of cost and convenience to use. From a practical application perspective, accomplishment of ultra-high permeability is imperative. Therefore, we try to achieve such high performances by means of preparing new membrane materials based on our revolutionary concept, “nano-space”, for the contribution to reduce global environmental load and realize energy-saving society.
Solid polymer electrolyte fuel cell
Polymer electrolyte fuel cell (PEFC) directly converts chemical energy into electrical energy with a high efficiency and low emission of pollutants, and is one of the most promising power sources for portable, stationary, and automotive applications.The properties of proton exchange membrane (PEM) significantly attribute PEMFC performance, so PEM is a key component in fuel cell systems. In our group, we develop novel and unique PEMs, which are composed of functional nanofibers.
The fabrication of nanofibers has attracted considerable attention due to their unique characteristics including super molecular arrangement, super specific surface area, and nano-size effects for widespread applications such as energy and environmental fields. By considering polymer structures and fabrication process for nanofibers, we investigate to reveal new characteristics of nanofibers that are completely different from conventional materials.