Fluorescent 3D live cell imaging

Our goal is the development of microscopy for volumetric imaging to study the mechanisms of intracellular life activity. The femtosecond pulsed laser is made highly cost-effective by manufacturing its main parts in-house. Since both the oscillator and the amplifier sections are based on polarization maintaining optical fiber lasers, the femtosecond pulsed laser features high stability, reduced space for optical transmission, and compact size. We constructed a two-photon microscope using this femtosecond pulsed laser and obtained fluorescent 3D images of the spheroid.

Photosynthesis bio organisms system, that is plants and algae, are emitting ultra weak luminescence as kind of reverse reaction of photosynthetic energy. This called "delayed fluorescece". The ultra weak luminescence can be detected as to single photon. Each photon reflect chemical energy on single molecure that associated in the photosynthesis reaction. Kinetics of the photon emission, intensities and time behaviours, can reveal activity of photosynthesis reaction. This can be a novel technique to evaluate growth and qualities of plants and algae on enviromnental monitoring, and breeding.

Optical sensing for agriculture

To achieve sustainable and efficient agriculture, we are developing optical technologies to collect the information of growing or harvested crops. The information, such as the amount of water/nutrient content in crops or the growth rate, enables a farmer to estimate the state of crops and helps them to improve the use of agricultural resources, yield and the quality of crops. And furthermore, use of appropriate fertilizer can reduce the environment damage.

As a key device, we are focusing on spectroscopic techniques in the visible to infrared range.

Development of biological sensor device with microfluidic MEMS device

Development of biological sensor device with microfluidic MEMS device

Our aim is to create a living device that brings out the functions of biological systems featuring high sensitivity and selectivity as well as saving energy, while compact and lightweight.

Various cell functions are controlled by cyclic AMP (cAMP), which acts as a second messenger for signal transduction in vivo. Recently, optogenetics is highly expected to be a powerful tool for reproducing cellular responses and creating pathological models. Photoactivated adenylyl cyclase (PAC) is directly activated by blue-light illumination without the intervention of G proteins. It produces cAMP with excellent spatiotemporal flexibility and reproducibility, allowing for precise control that is difficult to achieve with drug administration. Therefore, PAC is the promising tool that replaces the action of various bioactive substances with light illumination. We want to share our expertise for quantitative cAMP production using PAC and light. Now two types of easy-to-use PAC variants are commercially available.