Toshiki Sawada

Assistant Professor, School of Materials and Chemial Technology, Tokyo Institute of Technology *Profile is at the time of the award.

2021Inamori Research GrantsBiology & Life sciences

Research topics
Construction of liquid crystalline oriented membrane composed of filamentous virus toward highly sensitive detection of biomarker molecules
Membrane-based separation is one of the indispensable technologies in various fields. In this study, the construction of functional separation membranes composed of liquid crystalline oriented filamentous viruses through chemical cross-linking using the interfacial polymerization technique. Control of the function and assembled structures for the viruses enables separation membranes, which have the capability to separate desired biomarkers selectively.


We hope to expand the applicability of viruses as material components.

Outline of Research Achievments

Membrane-based separation technology is one of the indispensable technologies in various fields such as engineering, environment, and medicine. In this study, to construct a molecule-specific separation membrane, M13 bacteriophage, a type of filamentous virus, was utilized as the component for membranes. To prepare M13 phage-based membranes, M13 phage was insolubilized using an interfacial polymerization technique. Characterization of the resultant membrane evidenced that the membrane was composed of densely oriented M13 phage assemblies, resulting in a small molecular weight cut-off value. Using M13 phage modified with functional peptides, it was found that highly selective separation was achieved based on the molecular recognition capability of the peptides even at extremely small-sized molecules such as ions.

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Biology & Life sciences