Recently, various efforts have been carried out against global warming
across the world. CCS (Carbon dioxide Capture and Storage) technology,
CCUS (Carbon dioxide Capture, Utilization and Storage) technology, and
DAC (Direct Air Capture) technology are valuable techniques for CO2 reduction.
In order to realize this technology, gas separation using high gas permeable
membrane has been recognized as an attractive environmentally friendly
process due to its high efficiency, low energy cost and simple operation.
Our group has been studying composite membrane consisted of polymer and
surface-modified nanoparticles and developed unique concept “nano-space”,
polymer/nanoparticle interface with high permeability. We believe developing
novel membrane materials with nano-space contribute to solving environmental
issues and realize sustainable society.
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.
All-solid-state lithium ion battery (LIB) has raised attention as the next-generation LIB for possibilities of high safety and energy density. We invented composite electrolytes consists of polymer nanofibers and PEO of typical polymer electrolytes and realized improved ionic conductivity, Li+ transference number and thinner membrane. We have studied composite electrolytes with Li+ conductive nanofiber introduced PEO side chain and highly polarized PVDF nanofiber with high ratio of βcrystal respectively and the composite electrolyte with hi salt concentration and reported improvements of electrolytes property due to the interaction between nanofiber and polymer matrix. Currently, we’re also working on development of cathodes which is suitable for solid polymer electrolytes.
Currently, the concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere continues to rise, and it is a major cause of environmental problems such as global warming. Therefore, the policy which CO2 is considered as a resource, and the generated CO2 is separated / captured and recycled as fuel or material to reduce CO2 emissions (CCUS: Carbon dioxide Capture, Utilization and Storage) was shown. The technology for conversion of CO2 to highly versatile substances such as carbon monoxide (CO) and ethylene (C2H4), which will lead to CO2 fixation and can replace existing fossil fuel-derived materials, holds great promise for the realization of CCUS. We are developing CO2 reduction catalysts based on porphyrin complexes and metallic copper with the aim of realizing CCUS.
Epigenetics is a gene expression control structure to come from the chromatin
structure without the change of the DNA base sequence.
Epigenetic features, composed of multiple chromatin marks, may be maintained after cellular division.
A large body of evidence suggests that the epigenome is inappropriately altered in many human diseases, including most cancers and lifestyle disease.
Therefore, unlike genetic mutations, the ability having reversibility to reprogram the epigenetic landscape is one of the most promising target therapies.
So, we research to engineer epigenetics during tumorigenesis and enable appropriate gene expression activity and control even exosomes secreted by tumor cells.
Some of the oxygen taken up by the body becomes reactive oxygen species
(ROS), which gives oxidative stress to normal cells.It is known that dysfunctional
cells age due to oxidative stress, and the cells around them also age by
ROS, which induces aging-related diseases. Therefore, it is required to
develop an artificial enzyme that mimics the in-vivo catalyst for eliminating
In our laboratory, we are developing an artificial enzyme that can erase various ROS at once.Furthermore, we are conducting research aiming to treat aging-related diseases using the developed artificial enzymes.
We will study how ROS elimination affects the treatment of aging-related diseases and aim to develop higher-performance therapeutic agents.
Our body is composed of 40 trillion cells, and senescence of the cells
is thought to be a major cause of various age-related. We have succeeded
in developing senolytic drugs that can treat diseases by selectively removing
senescent cells, as well as in developing liposome nanocarriers that restores
cellular functions by inducing mitophagy in the diseased cells (caused
by cellular senescence) and eliminating damaged mitochondria.
Furthermore, mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), which are believed to be able to cure intractable diseases, and exosomes, which are secreted from these cells, are expected to show extremely high therapeutic efficacy. However, MSCs must be passively cultured in vitro before they can be used for therapy, and it is known that MSCs (as well as exosomes) senescence during this process. Our mitophagy-inducing nanocarrier, when administered to MSCs, removes the damaged mitochondria in the senescent MSCs, thereby restoring cell function and possibly rejuvenating the cells.
Most of the materials are feeble magnetic materials. Until now, it has
been considered that it is not possible to develop materials using magnetic
fields because it is treated as a non-magnetic substance due to its weak
interaction with magnetic fields. However, due to the development of superconducting
technology, it is possible to use the strong magnetic field in which magnetic
processes to feeble magnetic materials will be available.
Our interests are to improve material properties and develop new functions through orientation, alignment, and position control of feeble magnetic materials using magnetic torque and magnetic force. Now, we are focusing on composite materials that are composited of polymers and inorganic materials, and developing biocompatible materials and key materials toward the sustainable developments goals by applying magnetic fields.