Division of Biophotonics


Quantitative analysis and elucidation of underlying mechanism of physiological functions by innovative bioimaging utilizing cutting-edge technologies of photonics

We have advanced innovative bio-imaging methods by utilizing such advanced optical technologies as lasers and nanomaterial chemistry. In particular, we aim to develop less-invasive "in vivo" observation and manipulation for living organisms and tissues by utilizing multiphoton excitation and nonlinear optical processes by facilitating our original world-leading ultra-deep, super-resolution, and ultra-high-speed imaging methods. These technologies will establish a quantitative visualization analysis method for physiological functions and elucidate the emergence of neural functions by analyzing neural circuits and activities, including biological rhythms and their molecular basis.
We recently developed multiphoton microscopy to realize cross-sectional fluorescence imaging at the deepest layer in the world with infra-red ultra-short pulse laser adaptive optics. As a result, we visualized neurons in the hippocampus's dentate gyrus at 1.6 mm depth from the brain surface under anesthesia. Noticeably, we observed the activity of hippocampal CA1 neurons at a video rate. Utilizing long-term imaging technology for living cell functions, we promote research on the generation and function of ultradian and circadian rhythms. On the other hand, we are also pursuing super-resolution microscopy by utilizing new laser technologies to enable ultra-micromorphology for molecular dynamics in living cells. In local neural circuits, endocrine or exocrine glands, and model animals and plants, fast three-dimensional "in vivo" imaging reveals the underlying principles of the emergence of physiological functions. These methodologies also explore the molecular basis of the pathogenic mechanism of diseases.
  These methods collaborate widely with various laboratories covering life sciences and applied physics, material science, medicine, and pharmaceutical sciences in this research department. By advancing imaging methodology that visualizes physiological phenomena in vivo, or "as they are," and pursuing neural cell physiology, we will weave a new tapestry of interdisciplinary areas. We are looking for graduate students or young researchers who can share our passion for pioneering new academic fields. We are looking for graduate students or young researchers who share our passion for pioneering new academic fields.

(A) Super-resolution imaging with two-photon STED microscopy. (B) Wide-field in vivo imaging using nano-sheets. (C) Multicolor imaging of cell division using a multi-beam-scanning two-photon confocal microscopy. (D) High-speed volume imaging using light-needles.



Selected publications

*H.Ishii, et al., submitted
*T. Takahashi, et al., iScience, 23(10), 101579, (2020)
*T. Kamada, et al., Sci. Rep., 23(10), 101579, (2022)
*C.-P. Chang,et al., Sci. Rep.12:10468 (2022)