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Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Tokai University, Japan Launches Micro/Nano Technology Center

Here’s a press release from Tokai University, Center for Public Affairs and Communications.

Don’t worry if you don’t understand everything contained within—it just means you aren’t a scientist. No, being a political scientist doesn’t count. Rocket scientist either.

I’m a political scientist… that’s what my useless university degree is in, at any rate... though that is the first and only time I will refer to myself as such a scientist. I am a writer. It's who I am and what I do.

Here's the PR: 

Tokai University, Japan launches its Micro/Nano Technology Center (MNTC), the university’s leading multi-million dollar global hub for international interdisciplinary research based on the synthesis, functionalization and biomedical applications of polymer ultra-thin films (often called nanosheets).

Tokai University is one of Japan’s largest private universities that was established by Matsumae Shigeyoshi (surname first) in 1942. The Tokai University Educational System is one of the largest general education and research institutions in Japan today with 28,500 students studying at eight campuses. The University has 18 schools and colleges consisting of 78 departments and offers courses including medicine; pilot training; engineering, physical education, and humanities and culture.

“The polymer nanosheets developed by Yosuke Okamura form the basis for our research at Micro/Nano Technology Center (MNTC),” says Kita Rio (surname first), one of eight prominent MNTC researchers. “There are three main groups that specialize in fabrication and synthesis; experimental trials of concepts; and in-depth analysis and modeling.”

In addition to the group leaders, the researchers at MNTC also include highly motivated young scientists from both Japan and overseas.  Research at MNTC fuses expertise from a wide cross section of specialties including physics, mechanical engineering, and medicine.

Recent breakthroughs:
  • Development of a process to produce large areas of nanosheets with sizes of 10cm x 50m. This roll-to-roll mass production of nanosheets and their functionalization with “microgravure” printing system to functionalize their surfaces. This approach has enabled the production of 50,000 cm2 of nanosheets, compared with 314 cm2 by spin coating;
  • Microfluidic devices for developing disease models for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and thrombosis without animal experiments and surgeries;
  • Fabrication of titanium hollow needles with outer diameter of less than 50 micrometers functionalized to behave as actuators and sensors;
  • Analysis of cells using MiSeq DNA sequencer for understanding cell differentiation processes;
  • “Nanowrapping” of cells with both porous and non-porous nanosheets for live cell imaging;
  • Analysis of the effect of mechanical, electrical, magnetic and thermal stimuli on nanosheets.
A Class 1000 clean room at the MNTC.
The MNTC is a true interdisciplinary center with international scientists.

“We welcome highly motivated scientists to join us in our quest for real-life applications of nanosheets that were developed by our staff,” says Kita. “The pioneering research at MNTC has been underscored by the establishment of the Nikon Imaging Research Center at Tokai University. The Nikon Imaging Research Center houses the latest optical instruments produced by Nikon and is open to all researchers inside and outside of Tokai University as well as for training students and education.”

The image at the very top shows the open plan office facilities for researchers at the Tokai University MNTC.

About Tokai University
Tokai University is a private university established in 1942."Tokai" refers to the sea to the east of Asia, namely the Pacific Ocean, and symbolizes the desire to foster the kinds of big hearts, rich spirits, and broad perspectives symbolized by the expanse of an ocean. The white cross of the school flag symbolizes "Love" and "Justice," and expresses the presence of "Truth" where love and justice meet (but apparently not the American way - sorry, Superman!)

The Tokai University Educational System is one of the largest general education and research institutions in Japan today. To seek mutual understanding and global peace through the education of, and interaction with, young scholars from around the world,it began accepting foreign students from an early stage and have consistently promoted Japanese-language education.

For more information, visit


I like these guys, having written a few stories about them in the past. I’m sure you can see which lines in this blog I have written myself. Maybe 10? A new record!

I did decide to edit out the list of researchers working at the Micro/Nano Technology Center.

Andrew Joseph


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