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Major achievement to form the Global Center of Excellence for Research and Education
Improvement and enrichment of the Center
Our Center implemented a strategy to realize applications of micro-nano mechatronics, which are based on mechanical engineering or materials science, control systems engineering, and advanced medical engineering. The created basic research teams include “Nano control engineering”, “Nano measurement engineering”, “Nano design and manufacturing”, and “Nano materials science”. The basic research teams promote researches to create materials and machines with novel functions based on micro-nano technology and to establish analysis and design techniques for the creation.
In addition, they built an open cluster research system as well as conduct research to solve problems spanning these four basic fields and aim to create novel functional devices through the practical development of new materials, equipment and systems for bio- and medical welfare technologies.
The competitive environment was created to foster young researchers and to cultivate their internationality and autonomy. The series of symposia of an International conference format were continuously held to improve the cohesiveness of the center. Further, a joint symposium was held with collaborative partner UCLA to deepen exchanges between two. A symposium was held for undergraduate students to increase their understanding for the GCOE program. The “super-doctoral student” system was established and students were recruited and selected.
New findings obtained in GCOE project in 2008
"Nano Control Engineering"
The metallic nanowires growth at the tip of carbon nanotubes were controlled and analyzed based on the nanomanipulation system inside electron microscopes. We proposed the directional control method, design of initial motion of walking, and ladder climbing motion for multi-locomotion robot. The sensor-network is constructed to realize the high-precision positioning detection for mobile robots, and to show the effectiveness for tracking the motional objects.
In functional human movements of upper limbs and lower limbs, analyses on EMG signals have been carried out. Moreover, the relation between control efforts of upper limbs movements and sensitivity of receptors has been experimentally examined. This proves that the sensitivity of receptors for sensing changes of environmental dynamics correlates closely with the control efforts of upper limbs movements for given tasks.
In situ microscale manipulation of a single cell and simultaneous sensing of mechanical reaction was realized using novel optically driven nano-robots.
"Nano Measurement Engineering"
We have developed a pressure sensitive molecular film (PSMF) applicable to measurement of oxygen density distribution inside micro-devices and a nonintrusive technique for measurement of unsteady oxygen density distribution using pressure sensitive paint (PSP), confirming those effectiveness experimentally. We have also developed a technique for measurement of accommodation coefficients, which are very important to analyze flow fields around the micro-devices, and designed and built up its experimental apparatus.
In the surface force measurement using optical fiber probe, demonstrating feasibility of solid contact point detection and clarifying problems for high-speed shearing measurement, a fundamental design of a new measurement system design was determined. In addition, a basic setup for direct visualization of the nanometer-thick liquid films was built up.
To measure the conductivity and permittivity of cytoplasm in cells, a microwave AFM probe which can propagate a microwave signal and detect it at the tip of the probe was developed, based on micro-structural microwave circuit and MESM techniques. The probe can be used to measure a living cell in culture medium.
Ash deposition on heat exchanger tubes is one of major problems in pulverized coal fired boilers. This causes inhibition of heat transfer due to slagging and/or fouling, operation troubles, hot corrosion and so on. In order to solve those problems, a thermal spraying technique on the surface of heat exchanger tube is proposed in this study. The thickness of about 100 micrometers of Ni alloy can reduce the ash deposition. This reduction mechanisms are also elucidated by the chemical equilibrium calculation.
"Nano Design and Manufacturing"
Mechanism of a drastic change in etching anisotropy of single crystal silicon by adding a small amount of surfactant to alkaline etching solution was investigated. It was first proved by in-situ observation at liquid-solid interface that the surfactant selectively adsorbed to certain orientations during etching.
Ultra-precision manufacturing technologies for micro/nano mechatronics were developed, and for example 3D ultraprecision sculpturing of die steel was achieved with nanometer resolution.
A few micron meter height micro brush were fabricated on polycarbonate (PC) substrate with ion beam irradiation without a mask. Length and growth direction of micro brush were controlled with ion irradiation time and direction. The micro brush showed reduction effect of friction in water lubrication under boundary and mixed lubrication condition.
Through micro/nano-second flow diagnostics, we have obtained clear relationship between pressure modulation and shock wave deformation in shock wave-turbulence interaction. In supersonic drag reduction study, we have experimentally demonstrated 3% drag reduction using 10-nano-second laser pulses at up to 10 kHz.
"Nano Materials Science"
The following results were achieved base on GCOE project research; (1) rapid synthesis of mesoporous silica by solution plasma process, (2) understanding of counterion effect of polyelectrolyte brush on protein adsorption behavior. We will develop novel biomaterial integrated by the mesoporous silica and the polyelectrolyte brush.
A boundary value problem has been newly derived to perform discrete dislocation dynamics simulations relevant to periodic solids. Its usefulness has been verified by analyzing elastoplasticity of model composites. Young’s modulus of a carbon nanotube (CNT) with intermolecular junctions has been analyzed using first-principles calculations, resulting in a finding that it is about 30% smaller than those of straight CNTs.
Thermal substrate method in aqueous solutions was developed to fabricate carbonate apatite (CO3-Ap) and CO3-Ap/CaCO3 composite coatings similar to the mineral constituent of a human born on titanium substrate. It was found that this composite film had better osteoconductivity than hydroxyapatite from an in vivo evaluation.
"Advanced Bio/Medical Technology"
In our study, we used mesenchymalstem cells (MSCs) as the isolated cells, and self-assembling peptide nanofiber‘PuraMatrix™ (PM)’ as the scaffold, and Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) as the growth factors. MSCs are thought to be the multipotentialto differentiate to lineage of mesenchymaltissue. PRP is to change the formation of new bone and is nontoxic and nonimmunoreactive, accelerates existing wound healing pathways. So, our study indicates that a tissue-engineered bone with self-assembling peptide nanofiberscaffolds may be useful as an osteogenicbone substitute for dental implants and regenerated bone with minimal invasiveness and good plasticity.
We set-up the research models to age-related decline of biological function and age-related diseases in order to apply micro-nano technologies. Especially, we succeeded to differentiate ES cells to bone, muscle and cartilage tissues to overcome age-related decline of these tissues.
Actin filaments were classified apparently into three types based on spatial distribution. Several actin filaments were found to adhere firmly and creeping on membrane surface. We designated them as type 1 actin filament. Type 2 actin filaments were found covering over the type 1 filament. These filaments made meshwork by branching and extended parallel to the membrane surface with contact at locations, which were modified by many effecter proteins. Type 3 actin filament was so called stress fiber and disposed over themeshwork of type 2 filament.
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