Frontier Research Institute for Interdisciplinary Sciences
Tohoku University


Hideaki T. Matsubayashi

Assistant ProfessorLife and Environments

Mentor Information
Associate Professor
Shin-ichiro M. Nomura (Graduate School of Engineering)
Research Fields Synthetic Biology, Cell Biology, Biophysics
Research Subjects
  • Reconstruction of cytoskeletal dynamics and cell motility in artificial cells
  • Development of molecular robots with autonomous motility
  • Cell biology of cell migration signal cascades with chemical and optogenetic tools.
Academic Society Membership Japan Biophysical Society
Research Outline  

Living organisms show a variety of dynamic behaviors such as deformation, motility, and engulfment. Understanding the mechanism of these cellular dynamics would deepen our knowledge of biological systems and provide the opportunities to create molecular robots that autonomously operate active tasks. In this perspective, our research aims to reconstruct the cellular dynamics with purified molecules in a form of the artificial cell.

Artificial cells are cell-sized bioreactors that mimic a certain cellular function. Although we can design the reactors with defined molecules, it has been still challenging to recapitulate cellular morphological dynamics since most of the artificial cell models are closed and homogeneous systems encapsulated by lipid membrane barrier and lack methods to manipulate inside reactions across the barrier. To overcome this problem, we have developed optogenetic techniques to achieve reversible and asymmetric reactions, which are prerequisite features of cellular dynamics, inside artificial cells.

Reconstruction of cell motility would lead to a molecular robot that surveys around inside the human body and fight against disease conditions like an immune cell. In addition, the simplicity of the artificial cell model would be advantageous when we study minimal factors to functionalize cytoskeletal genes. Therefore, we anticipate our bottom-up approach could also provide experimental insights into the evolutional history of cellular dynamics.


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