Enjoying science of “Active Matter”!
Department of Chemistry, Physical Chemistry
“Active matter” belongs to group of materials which can produce motion by converting their own chemical energy. As the result active maters can autonomously perform work without any external support. This feature of active matter makes them different from any other materials. Through understanding the science of active matter, we are aiming to improve the quality of our life by solve existing problem for example energy and medical sectors.
|Field||Polymer Chemistry, Biophysics, Softmatter Physics, Biomaterial Mechanics|
Introduction of Research
Engines and electric motors have brought a great advancement in human civilization. However, for the sake of environmental protection and sustainable development there a growing demand of renewable and clean energy. To address this demand, we have been focusing on active matter derived from nature, biomolecular motors. Biomolecular motors can convert chemical energy into motion with a high efficiency (~ 80%) and specific power (20 times higher than that of conventional electric motors). We believe these advantages of biomolecular motors will help invent new technologies for sustainable development.
1) Swarming of active matter
Birds, fish, cells, and bacteria form “swarm” without necessity of a leader. Depending on their environment, they change shape and size of swarm. Swarms are capable of accomplishing tasks, which is not achievable by single individual organisms. Recently, by using a self-driven biomolecular motor, we have succeeded in reproducing swarming in laboratory condition. We also successfully controlled the movement of the swarm by applying physical stimulation (Figures 1 and 2). Studying the swarming of active matters will be beneficial for developing drones and cars that will be able to move autonomously.
2) Active molecular probe
By utilizing the characteristics of the self-driven biomolecular motors, we have developed new technology that can detect surface deformation of soft-matters, which has been challenging so far (Figure 3). Soft matter has been attracting attentions in recent years in many fields such as medicine and electronics. Our technology will provide new method for characterizing surface properties of soft matters.
3) Molecular swarm robot
We have developed molecular robots incorporating all three necessary components, sensor, actuator, processor. The developed molecular robots autonomously swarm in response to chemical (DNA information) and physical signals (light information), which will pave a way for developing smart nano-machines in future (Figure 4).
4) Artificial molecular muscle
Through fusion of a biomolecular motor synthesized by biotechnology and a DNA nanostructure (DNA origami) synthesized by DNA nanotechnology we have succeeded in developing an artificial molecular muscle. The artificial molecular muscle exhibit dynamic contraction like smooth muscle (Figure 5). This invention will serve as new type of power source for microrobots in the future.
Daisuke Inoue, Greg Gutmann, Takahiro Nitta, Arif Md. Rashedul Kabir, Akihiko Konagaya, Kiyotaka Tokuraku, Kazuki Sada, Henry Hess, *Akira Kakugo, ACS Nano, (2019)
Kento Matsuda, Arif Md. Rashedul Kabir, Naohide Akamatsu, Ai Saito, Shumpei Ishikawa, Tsuyoshi Matsuyama, Oliver Ditzer, Md. Sirajul Islam, Yuichi Ohya, Kazuki Sada, Akihiko Konagaya, *Akinori Kuzuya, *Akira Kakugo, Nano Letters, 19 (6), 3933-3938 (2019)
Jakia Jannat Keya, Ryuhei Suzuki, Arif Md. Rashedul Kabir, Daisuke Inoue, Hiroyuki Asanuma, Kazuki Sada, Henry Hess, Akinori Kuzuya, *Akira Kakugo, Nature Communications, Vol. 9 (453) (2018)
Daisuke Inoue, Takahiro Nitta, Arif Md. Rashedul Kabir, Kazuki Sada, Jian Ping Gong, Akihiko Konagaya, *Akira Kakugo, Nature Communications, 2016, Vol. 7:12557 (2016)
Akira Kakugo, Yoshiki Tamura, Kazuhiro Shikinaka, Momoko Yoshida, Ryuzo Kawamura, Hidemitsu Furukawa, Jian Ping Gong, J. Am Chem. Soc, 131 (50), 18089-18095 (2009)
I have been fascinated always by the beauty of natural flocking exhibited by living organisms, such as groups of birds, schools of fish, etc. In the early stage of my career I came across critical roles of tiny self-propelled biomolecular motors in cell movement, muscle contraction etc. in living beings. Being motivated by the functions of biomolecular motors I have investigated mechanism behind conversion of chemical energy into kinetic energy by biomolecular motors. During my doctoral study I fabricated world’s smallest power device by assembling biomolecular motors. Recently I successfully demonstrated swarming in laboratory conditions using self-propelled biomolecular motors. I am now aiming at developing molecular robots in which driving force of the robots will be generated by swarms of biomolecular motors.
|Academic background||2003 Doctor of science degree Graduate School of Science, Hokkaido University|
2003 Research Assistant, Graduate School of Science, Hokkaido University
2004 Research associate, Graduate School of Science, Hokkaido University
2008-2011 PRESTO Researcher, Precursory Research for Embryonic Science and Technology, Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST)
2011-present Associate Professor, Graduate School of Science, Hokkaido University
2007-2009 Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology Lecturer (part time)
2014-2014 Kyusyu University Lecturer (part time)
2017-2018 Columbia University Visiting Researcher
2019-2019 Tokyo Institute of Technology Lecturer (part time)
2019-2020 Fukuoka University Lecturer (part time)
2019-2020 Osaka University Lecturer (part time)
|Affiliated academic society||The Society of Polymer Science, Japan, |
The Biophysical Society of Japan,
Materials Research Society of Japan,
American Chemical Society
|Project||Molecular Engine: Design of Autonomous Functions through Energy Conversion|
|Room address||Science Building 7-215|