Takuzo Aida University Distinguished Professor
Takayuki Miki Project Lecturer
Nobuhiko Mitoma Project Assistant Professor
Hubiao Huang Project Assistant Professor
“Innovative functions through molecular design” is our basic concept to realize a paradigm shift in science and technology. We pioneer material sciences with supramolecular chemistry for a sustainable future and healthcare. We are at the UTokyo Hongo lab (Kao Corporation Gift) and RIKEN, welcoming graduate students.
Supramolecular Polymers and Their Applications :
Plastic waste and microplastics poses a significant burden on the Earth. In order for us to coexist with our planet for an extended period, it is crucial to promptly address these issues and halt the progression of global warming. Our lab has been a pioneer, exploring supramolecular polymers comprising dynamically connected monomers. Recent notable achievements include (1) the development of self-repairing polymer glass that is robust yet mends at room temperature, eliminating the need for recycling, (2) supramolecular plastics exhibiting the highest mechanical strength ever recorded for polymer materials yet capable of complete recycling and ocean metabolism, and (3) fluorinated nanochannels enabling rapid desalination of seawater.
“Aqua Materials” for Low-Carbon Sustainable Society :
We use “molecular glue” to engineer “water” for creating water-rich hydrogels called “Aqua Materials” that carry mechanical properties comparable to plastics and rubbers. We aim to further develop this research toward new environmentally friendly functional materials.
Drug Delivery/Nanoremedy by Molecular Glue/Biomolecular Machines :
Using “molecular glue”, which strongly adheres to proteins, nucleic acids, and biomembranes, and “in vivo molecular machines” such as chaperones, we are developing intelligent drug carriers that can response to endogenous substances overexpressed due to diseases and release drugs in a space-time specific manner. We have also developed “de novo peptides” that integrate proteins and are planning to apply them to medical and industrial applications as a basic technology for cell engineering.
Energy Conversion by Soft Nanocarbon :
We have developed new soft carbon-based nanomaterials such as “graphite nanotubes”, “nanocarbon (carbon nanotube, graphene)/ionic liquid hybrid soft materials”, and semiconducting “carbon nitride” sheet for the construction of new energy conversion systems.
Molecular Transformation and Transport by Crystalline Nanoporous Materials :
We are developing new crystalline nanoporous materials for groundbreaking molecular transformations and transportation.