Division of Biotechnology and Macromolecular Chemistry

Biotechnology aims to use life science in our daily lives, obtainable through the understanding of vital phenomena. It is applied in medical, environmental, energy and various other fields, and will soon make another leap forward, as we have entered the 21st century.

This course consists of two major laboratories – the Laboratory of Biotechnology and the Laboratory of Chemistry of Functional Molecules, and the Laboratory of Animal Cell Technology (associated laboratory), where students engage in research to attempt to realize a sustainable society where humans and the global environment are kept healthy by applying life science-based system building and ideas in a variety of fields, such as regenerative medicine, biotechnology and nanotechnology.

In the Laboratory of Biotechnology and the Laboratory of Animal Cell Technology (associated laboratory), research on biological engineering and animal cell technology are under way in an effort to commercialize regenerative medicine, in which lost tissues and functions of the human body can be regenerated using the knowledge of life science. That is, stem cells, which exist in small quantities in the human body, are removed, and stem cells are cultivated in an environment outside the body to be established with ingenuity to efficiently induce differentiation toward the desired tissue cells. They are then placed into the specially designed cellular bond carrier, in which neoformation is achieved, allowing transplantation in patients. We are certain that from these efforts, regenerative medicine will develop into one of the important industries along with the conventional pharmaceuticals industry.

In the Laboratory of Chemistry of Functional Molecules, research is ongoing on artificial cellular systems, built by chemically mimicking the biomembrane of cells constituting organisms. DNA, which is genetic information, enzyme protein and other biopolymers can be introduced into these artificial cells, and biofunctions of artificial cells can be controlled by detecting and analyzing the impact of various types of molecules from the external environment on cell membranes and intracellular substances. As described, the development of high-performance, high-polymer materials and the creation of new measurement systems are feasible by chemically mimicking biofunctions.

In addition to the above, development of chemical and biological pharmaceutical products, development of environmentally friendly, high-polymer materials that are compatible with organisms, as well as research on and education of micro-level measurement systems, quantum computing and other areas, are under way, with constant attention given to the present and future needs of society. In these circumstances, the innovative ideas of young people are actively incorporated every day, leading to many breakthroughs.