Nagoya University
Graduate School of Engineering
Assistant Professor

Research Areas:Nanotechnology/Nanomaterials
Manufacturing Technology (Mechanical Engineering, Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Chemical Engineering)
Natural Science

Research fields

Nano- and micro-systems
Nano- and micro-metrology
Design Engineering

Research Interests

Nano- and micro-metrology
DNA analysis
Microfluidic device
Super-resolution imaging

Professional Memberships

The Japan Society of Mechanical Engineers
The Japan Society of Applied Physics
Japanese Society of Tribologists

Main research topics

The spread of infectious diseases caused by bacteria and viruses is a serious problem all over the world. Rapid identification of the infection pathway is necessary to stop the spread of bacteria and viruses at an early stage, and DNA analysis is used to determine the genotypes of them. DNA molecules extracted from bacteria and viruses are cut at specific base pairs by restriction enzymes, and the fragmented DNAs is analyzed to determine the genotypes of them. Rapid, large-scale, and comprehensive analysis is required for rapid and large-scale identification of the infection pathway to stop the spread of infection at early stage. The objective of this research is to develop a unique system for identifying infection pathways that combines rapid analysis of genotypes using microfluidic devices with micro- and nanostructures in microfluidic channels and large-scale, comprehensive analysis using information technology. First, we will develop a unique DNA analysis device for rapid analysis of the genotypes, which is the core technology of this research. Next, we will realize large-scale and comprehensive analysis of the obtained data using information technology. Based on the analysis results, we will establish a system to identify the infection pathway rapidly and comprehensively. In this research, mutually collaborating with researchers in various research fields, such as biology, informatics, and infectology is necessary to construct the proposed system that can rapidly identify infection pathways on a large scale.

Representative papers

Naoki Azuma, Kenji Fukuzawa, and Shintaro Itoh, “Super-localization of individual fluorophores along a DNA strand in a microchannel,” Applied Physics Letters 119, 023701, 6 pages (2021).

Naoki Azuma, Shintaro Itoh, Kenji Fukuzawa, and Hedong Zhang, ” Separation of large DNA molecules by size exclusion chromatography-based microchip with on-chip concentration structure,” Japanese Journal of Applied Physics 55, 06GN01, 8 pages (2016).

Research URL

Laboratory Website

Global issues to be solved through this project

Rapid identification of the infection route of bacteria and viruses on a large scale

The realization of a rapid countermeasure against the spread of bacteria and viruses is an urgent challenge on a global scale. The death toll from new coronavirus (COVID-19) infections has reached into the number of millions. The spread of drug-resistant bacteria is also serious, and it is estimated that the annual number of deaths will exceed 10 million by 2050. If the system that can quickly and comprehensively identify infection pathways on a global scale can be constructed, it will be possible to quickly interrupt infection pathways and take early countermeasures against the spread of infection, thereby stopping the spread of infection at an early stage. In this study, we will develop a microfluidic device that enables rapid analysis of their genotypes and collaborate it with information technology to construct a large-scale, rapid system for identifying infection pathways.