Department of Materials and BioScience
New functional bio-based plastics and clarifying the biodegradation mechanism of plastics
Ken-ichi Kasuya leads the Green Polymer research group at Gunma University. Research in his group focuses on the development of new functional bio-based plastics and clarifying the biodegradation mechanism of plastics. Recently his group has succeeded in synthesizing a fully bio-based plastic from a plant. In addition, he has been addressing the development of novel biodegradable plastics in order to solve profound problems caused by microplastics in the ocean.
Toward understanding the biological function of carbohydrate through chemical synthesis
The main research focus in Professor Matsuo’s laboratory is carbohydrate chemistry. Carbohydrates play various biological roles such as cell-cell recognition, differentiation, malignant transformation, bacterial infection, and glycoprotein quality control. Our research group is working on synthesis of glycoconjugates (e.g. N-linked and O-linked glycoprotein glycans, glycolipids, and glycosylated natural products) and chemically modified glycans, with the aim of clarifying the biological roles of carbohydrates, developing diagnosis systems for carbohydrate-related disorders, performing functional analysis of glycosyltransferases / glycosidases, and developing glycosylated new materials.
Department of Mechanical Science and Technology
New Arithmetic Circuits and Signal Processing
Computing systems are playing important roles in our daily lives. VLSI chips implementing controlling and computing units are used for real-time processing operations. A cell phone, for example, has high performance not only for communication, but also for viewing video and photo operations. In our laboratory, we are trying to find new VLSI algorithms to implement high-speed computing and controlling systems. Specifically, we present new methods for arithmetic operations using efficient number systems. We also aim to develop and design VLSI chips for self-driving vehicles.
Application of Fluid Mechanics, Cleaning of Semiconductor Wafers, Visualization and Measurement of Flow Behaviors
Fluid mechanics is a fundamental research field in mechanical science and technology with a wide range of applications, including the aircraft technology, car engineering, cleaning of electronics devices, and control of air pollution. Our laboratory studies a wide range of problems concerned with the cleaning process of semiconductor wafers based on experimental and modeling methods of fluid mechanics. We have also developed quantitative visualization and measurement techniques for fluid flows and some chemical substances. AS application themes of fluid mechanics, we also study micro-bubble flow and liquid atomization phenomena.
Department of Environmental Engineering Science
Numerical Simulation for Earthquake-Induced Landslides
Development of effective procedures to predict earthquake-induced landslides accompanying catastrophic slope failure is one of the important issues to be resolved in our ongoing efforts for improvement of disaster prevention. We have proposed a new elasto-plastic constitutive model to simulate strain-softening behaviors of sensitive soils under cyclic loading, which has been applied to the finite element simulation of a lot of past catastrophic landslides caused by each earthquake motion. We are trying to analyze the mechanism of catastrophic failure in detail with clarifying the relationships between the slope stability and the strain-softening characteristics of contained soils.
Development of Steam/Hydrogenation Hybrid Process for High-Grade Oil Production from Biomass
Biomass resources such as agricultural wastes or animal mature are widely spread, causing high collection and transportation costs and hindering efforts to establish their large scale utilization. To utilize this biomass requires the development of small-scale plants with high economic efficiency. We are working to establish an economically efficient plant by developing a small-scale process for unutilized biomass, which produces high-grade oil and electricity matching with local demand.
Department of Integrated Science and Technology
Industrial application of AI-based control technology
For the next ten years, new technologies such as AI, big data, and IoT evolve and spread in a wide range of fields. Industry structure will also be greatly affected by these technologies. We are developing AI technology-based energy harvesting system, process control system and so on. For example, the self-powered system based on vibration power generation combined with the deep learning technique is applied to drive a wireless sensor node for factory diagnosis. In the process control system, the temperature is precisely controlled by using a learning algorithm based on the neural network.
Producing next generation media technology
Rapid progress of high-speed image processing and image projection technologies is increasing demand for, high-speed, adaptive image acquisition and projection. Our laboratory proposes a new media technology named Dynamic Image Control (DIC) that refers to a technical concept of dynamic and adaptive control of image acquisition and/or projection depending on the scene. DIC requires optimization of all components of imaging and projection systems, including imagers, optics, and illumination. Thus, both devices and system/application are studied in this laboratory. Envisaged application fields of DIC are image industries such as film and advertising, medicine and biology requiring microscopic measurement, factory automation, and human-machine interfaces requiring comprehensible images.