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Professor:Akihiko Kikuchi
Assistant professor:Takaaki Aso

Materials used in contact with living organisms and its components (eg. biological compounds) are termed as “Biomaterials”. Biomaterials surface design is the key issue in development of novel biomaterials used in the body, or in contact with its components. We are now working on the design of novel biomaterials interfaces to create and express novel functions in analytical and biomedical fields. Special attention has been made on the creation of novel interfaces for recognition and modulation of biomolecular interactions for effective separation and analysis of biological compounds. In addition,

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Example study

Preparation of polymeric brushes and their application to separation of bioactive compounds

We have been preparing the poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) and its copolymer brushes on capillary inner surfaces. Interaction between thermoresponsive interfaces and biomolecules by temperature modulation was investigated on micro high performance liquid chromatography (μHPLC) system. Affinity, electrostatic, and hydrophobic interaction of biomolecules with designed thermoresponsive polymer brush is investigated for creation of novel green separation system. Such separation system may provide simple, and more efficient separation of small quantity, but highly valuable biomolecules.


Researches on hydrogels

Drug delivery system

In the living body, requisite peptides, enzymes, or hormones exist only for a short time within a certain period of a day (i.e., circadian rhythm) or month (i.e., circalunar rhythm) and such chronopharmacotherapy is becoming more important for effective drug therapy. We have developed macromolecular release with lag time utilizing alginate gel beads. Rapid drug release within a short time period after a predetermined lag time is investigated for a pulsatile drug release system.

Adhesion of Hydrogels

The development of microstructure-regulated three-dimensional (3-D) materials has attracted much attention in the field of tissue engineering. Adhesion of soft materials including hydrogels has therefore attracted attention because it is one of the most important processes for building functional soft constructs. Therefore, we study a novel strategy for the adhesion of hydrogels.


Preparation of functional nanospheres

Nanospheres have received wide attention for drug delivery carriers and diagnostics devices. However, surface design of polymeric nanospheres was often difficult for suppressing undesirable biomolecules interaction, which interferes effective interaction with target molecules. When polymer materials are used in contact with bioactive compounds, it is necessary that the nanospheres have functionalized, bio-selective surfaces. We have prepared well-defined nanospheres, which have monodispersed particle size and polymer corona with controlled chain lengths for separation of bioactive compounds and drug delivery carriers.