New Research


Bio-Inspired Chemical Engineering Based on Self-Assembled Membrane

~ Next Chemical Engineering Science to Regulate Molecular Behaviors ~

Prof. Hiroshi Umakoshi Assoc. Prof. Yukihiro Okamoto Assist. Prof. Keishi Suga

A “Biomembrane” is a highly-organized self-assembly of biomolecules (i.e. lipid, protein etc.) and a key interface for the survival of biological cell. The “Membranome” can be defined as the properties of vesicle (or liposome), which arise from the bilayer molecular assembly of amphiphiles, focusing on “emergent properties” which are not present in the individual components, and is gradually recognized as an important research methodology to investigate the potential functions of vesicles (or liposome) and to apply them for the bioprocess design. “Self-organizing system”, such as liposome or vesicle, possesses several benefits in the recognition of (bio)molecules, where it can recognize them, at its “designed” surface, with “multiple-molecular interactions” that consist of (i) electrostatic, (ii) hydrophobic interaction, and (iii) hydrogen bonds.

Based on the "Membranome" approach, we are studying on how to establish a methodology to design and develop a "Bio-Inspired Membrane", which can be defined as an "Artificial Membrane" inspired by structures and functions observed in "Biomembrane". In resent achievements, it has been investigated the chiral recognition of amino acids by liposome membrane surface, and chiral selective conversion by utilizing liposome (or vesicle) membrane in aqueous media.

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