Our goal is the development of microscopy for high-speed volumetric imaging to study the mechanisms of intracellular life activity. We are developing an effective imaging technique called light sheet fluorescence microscopy. It scans through the samples using a sheet-like excitation light to get series of 2D images and achieves volumetric imaging by combining these 2D images. This microscope makes it possible to observe cell-to-cell communication inside spheroids. For the purpose of finding undiscovered cell dynamics, we are committed to create higher-speed and higher-resolution 3D microscope with our optical technology.
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.
The hydrogen bonds of base pairs (A/T, G/C) are disrupted by heating. The complementary bases, however, connect again by cooling. Using this property, nanostructures can be made by using DNA as a material. Modifications of staple DNA (single-stranded DNA to assemble certain nanostructures) or tweaking of the A, T, G, C sequences enable the placement of chemical substances, proteins, double helices, etc., to any position in DNA structures with nanometer precision.
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.
The femtosecond pulsed laser is made highly cost-effective by manufacturing its main parts in-house. We apply the laser to two-photon-excited luminescence imaging. 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 are developing optical technology to improve agricultural operations and increase crop quality. In our plant condition diagnosis, the contents in the crops are investigated by spectral measurement in the range of visible/IR to estimate the optimum amount of fertilizer, predict harvest time and evaluate the crops quality.
To evaluate plant growth, nitrate ion concentration is monitored by measuring light absorbance of nutrient solution in UV range (approx. 210 nm). By measuring nitrate concentration and nutrient solution weights simultaneously, the amount of nitrate absorbed by the plant and the optimum amount of fertilizer are estimated.
Autofluorescence makes it possible to detect fungus. Autofluorescence wavelength differs depending on bacterial species. The spectrum suggests the possibility of bacterial species identification. We can expect development in the fields of agriculture, food hygiene and medical care.
And we discovered visible light growth inhibition of denitrifying bacteria that occurs under anaerobic denitrification conditions. The important point is that under oxygen breathing conditions this inhibition is not observed. Application development to fermentation control of microorganisms, drug discovery, etc. is expected.
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.
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