Description of Research Area

A03: Function | Research Projects

A03-001  Soft Matter Physics Approach to Artificial Cells


IMAI, Masayuki

Department of Physics, Tohoku University

Research Subject

Molecular assemblies composed of macromolecules, amphiphlic molecules and so on are material bases to construct cellular life, whereas the assemblies obtained by simple mixing of these materials are far away from the cellular life. In order to bridge between the assemblies and the cellular life we should create molecular assembly systems having fundamental functionalities for cellular life, i.e. i) Self-reproduction of vesicle, ii) Self-replication of information molecule, iii) Metabolic pathway, and iv) Self-propelled motion of molecular assemblies, and reveal the underlying physics to reproduce these functionalities in the molecular assemblies. Especially, interplay between the self-reproducing vesicle and the self-replicating information molecule in a protocell (e.g. self-reproducing vesicle system encapsulating self-replicating information molecules [K. Kurihara et al., Nature Chem. (2011)]) must bring new insights in the developing molecular assembly system. Our target of this study is to understand the physics of molecular assembly system developing toward cellular life on the basis of synthesis and analysis of such types of the protocell.



Department of Chemistry,
Kanagawa University



Department of Basic Science,
University of Tokyo



Department of Physics,
Tohoku University

Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (KAKENHI) on Innovative Areas, MEXT, Japan
Synergy of Fluctuation and Structure : Quest for Universal Laws in Non-Equilibrium Systems