Emergent Bioengineering Materials Research Team

Principal Investigator

PI Name Yoshihiro Ito
Degree D.Eng.
Title Team Leader
Brief Resume
1987D.Eng., Kyoto University
1988Assistant Professor, Kyoto University
1996Associate Professor, Kyoto University
1997Associate Professor, Nara Institute of Science and Technology
1999Professor, University of Tokushima
2002Project Leader, Kanagawa Academy of Science and Technology
2004Chief Scientist, Nano Medical Engineering Laboratory, RIKEN (-present)
2013Team Leader, Emergent Bioengineering Materials Research Team, RIKEN Center for Emergent Matter Science (-present)


Advanced materials composed of biological and artificial components are synthesized for development of environmentally friendly energy collection and conversion systems. By combination of organic synthetic chemistry, polymer chemistry, and biotechnology, novel synthesis method will be established and materials using biological and artificial elements will be achieved by their chemical fabrication, and the characterization of the interfaces between biological and artificial elements for highly efficient energy collection and conversion or biological functions. Especially our team will establish a new methodology, a chemically extended molecular evolutionary engineering as an “Emergent Chemistry” to create a specific ally functionalized polymer by screening of random sequence of polymer library containing functional monomers.

Research Fields

Bioengineering, Organic Chemistry, Materials Science


Energy conversion
Precise Polymer Synthesis
Molecular evolutionary engineering


Solution-processed substrate-free thermoelectric films

Single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) are advantageous for energy-conversion materials because of their large electrical conductivity, mechanical strength, and light weight. Unfortunately, SWCNTs exhibit poor processability owing to inevitable aggregation. We demonstrated substrate-free thermoelectric (TE) films using solution-processed methodology. Thermally cleavable polythiophene derivatives containing carbonate groups and solubilizing groups in side chains were synthesized. The polymer showed noncovalent modification of SWCNTs that led to a dispersed polymer/SWCNTs solution. This dispersed solution allowed a solution-processable polymer/SWCNTs composite film. The insoluble composite film was obtained by the thermal cleavage of the solubilizing group in a solid state. The substrate-free polymer/SWCNTs composite film prepared by solvent evaporation exhibited the TE property. These results are expected to be useful for preparation of flexible TE devices.

Schematic illustration of thermally cleavable polythiophene for dispersed SWCNTs composite and an insoluble SWCNTs film.


Yoshihiro Ito

Team Leader y-ito[at]riken.jp R

Masuki Kawamoto

Senior Research Scientist

Takanori Uzawa

Senior Research Scientist

Motoki Ueda

Senior Research Scientist

Seiichi Tada

Research Scientist

Jun Akimoto

Research Scientist

Hiroshi Abe

Senior Visiting Scientist

Takuji Hirose

Senior Visiting Scientist

Nandakumar Avanashiappan

Special Postdoctoral Researcher

Jyorthana Rajappa Muralidhar

International Program Associate

Ahmed Emad Abdelmoneam Ali Elrefaey

International Program Associate

Raef Soliman Ahmed Shams

Junior Research Associate

Noriko Minagawa

Technical Staff I


  1. A. Nandakumar, Y. Ito, and M. Ueda

    Solvent Effects on the Self-Assembly of an Amphiphilic Polypeptide Incorporating α-Helical Hydrophobic Blocks

    J. Am. Chem. Soc. 142, 20994 (2020)
  2. S. J. Park, J. Akimoto, N. Sakakibara, E. Kobatake, and Y. Ito

    Thermally induced switch of coupling reaction using morphological change of thermoresponsive polymer on reactive hetero-armed nanoparticle

    ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 12, 49165 (2020)
  3. J. Akimoto, S. J. Park, S. Obuse, M. Kawamoto, M. Tamura, A. Nandakumar, E. Kobatake, and Y. Ito

    Synthesis of photoreactive poly(ethylene oxide)s for surface modification

    ACS Appl. Bio Mater. 3, 5941–5947 (2020)
  4. C. Phadke, S. Tada, I. Kono, A. Hiyama, Y. Takase, S. Gayama, T. Aigaki, Y. Ito, and T. Uzawa

    Instantaneous detection of αs-casein in cow’s milk using fluorogenic peptide aptamers

    Anal. Methods 12, 1368 (2020)
  5. S. Mueller, M. Ueda, T. Isoshima, T. Ushida, and Y. Ito

    Stretching of fibroblast cells on micropatterned gelatin on silicone elastomer

    J. Mater. Chem. B 8, 416 (2020)



2-1 Hirosawa, Wako, Saitama 351-0198 Japan