[ Division of Frontier Research ]
Cutting-edge interdisciplinary research linked to commercialization & practical application
The Division of Frontier Research executes integrative, cutting-edge research programs based on research results produced at HU that have the potential for commercialization. Collaborative industry-university research projects are funded for up to 5 years. It aims at advancing the University’s strategic priority research themes, development of human resources capable to contribute to cutting-edge S&T, and also at establishing novel academic domains.
Currently there are 4 projects details of which are given below
|Research on practical application of nanomaterials/technologies|
|Creating future industries through carbon nanotube (CNT) applications: contributions to environmental protection by manufacturing products with businesses|
Dr. Bunshi FUGETSU
Professor, Graduate School of Environmental Science
Nanotechnology is expected to become a key technology in the creation of future, next-generation industries. Within the field of nanotechnology, materials based on carbon nanotubes (CNTs) have been the target of intensive research and development in Japan from the viewpoint of product development. One reason for this is that CNT-based materials are light and durable and are therefore suitable for environmentally friendly technologies leading to a reduction in the output of carbon dioxide (CO2), a worldwide problem causing global warming. CNTs commonly occur as large aggregates or lumps of mass. For easy handling, splitting up of these CNT assemblies is achieved by a technology called arc-dispersion. Using an independent strategy, our laboratory has developed an industrial-scale CNT arc-dispersion process that splits up CNT aggregates into separate, individual tubes. In collaboration with corporate researchers from Japan, other Asian countries, and EU, we have been engaged in complexing the disaggregated CNTs with a light metal or organic polymer, etc., to develop a novel, lightweight, high-performance material and to thus advance research toward commercializing CNTs.
|Development of medical imaging for tumor diagnosis|
|From the molecular imaging of cancer characteristics to practical applications in individualized medical care|
Dr. Yuji KUGE
Professor, Central Institute of Isotope Science
There have been remarkable recent advances in image diagnostic technology. In particular, molecular imaging has received much attention as a technique for visualizing molecular and cellular behavior within the living body. By developing a molecular imaging technique utilizing radioisotope probes, we have made progress towards a more accurate understanding of the state of diseases and the effects of treatment at the molecular and cellular levels, thereby promoting research aimed at providing optimum treatment. One of the targets of our research is to develop a radioisotope probe that visualizes thymidine phosphorylase. Other areas include the applications of molecular imaging to functional diagnosis, strategic treatment, and individualized care.
|Research Center for Highly-Efficient Photoelectric Conversion System Using Optical Nano-Antenna|
|Development of highly efficient solar cells utilizing near-infrared light|
Prof. Dr. Hiroaki MISAWA
Research Institute for Electronic Science and Creative Research Institution
The development of a highly-efficient solar cell is critical in order to create a future realizing low-carbon society. To produce a solar cell with high photoelectric conversion efficiency, it is necessary to develop a system that responds to wide spectrum of solar light from visible to near-infrared wavelengths. The current program, supported by MEXT as “Low-Carbon Research Network Japan (Lcnet)”, allows us to develop novel and highly-efficient photoelectric conversion system utilizing near-infrared light based on optical nano-antennae effects. The key technology for realizing solar cells that respond to near-infrared wavelength is the plasmonic photoelectric conversion by using electrodes in which gold nanorods are elaborately arrayed on the surface of TiO2 single crystal electrodes by means of advanced top-down nanotechnology.
|Contributing to the welfare of ageing society through the synthetic gel applications|
|Development of bio-tissue gels and their application for cartilage regeneration|
Prof. Dr. Jian Ping GONG
Faculty of Advanced Life Science and Creative Research Institution, Hokkaido University
Our laboratory has been engaged in collaborative research with Professor Kazunori YASUDA from Graduate School of Medicine who is well-known pioneer in the field of application of high-strength double-network gels, independently developed by our team, for treatment of ailments of ligaments. The objective of our ongoing research is to synthesize gel materials with superb mechanical properties and biochemical functions comparable to those of cartilage, and thereby develop their practical use in the treatment of joints. As the ageing society is in urgent need of further progress in cartilage care, we as researchers feel obliged as well as privileged to transfer the fruits of our research for the benefit of society.