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Hokkeido University

Hokkeido University

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15 Projects, page 1 of 3
  • Funder: NSF Project Code: 6215462
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  • Funder: NWO Project Code: 040.040.064

    Despite the increasing number of therapeutic drugs and the development of novel targeted strategies, therapeutic progress has remained modest for many prevalent and costly diseases. Major obstacles encompass the non-specific delivery of drugs through the vascular system and the presence of biological barriers, such as endothelial barriers, limiting the extravasation of drugs from the blood stream to the targeted tissue, hence restraining their bioavailability and thus efficacy. Among a variety of targeted delivery strategies, microbubbles have a long history as an option of drug loading microbubbles for ultrasound-triggered drug delivery. However, so far this approach has not translated into wide-spread clinical applications, due to a variety of inherent limitations. However, most of these shortcomings can meanwhile be addressed by the new concept of “Antibubbles”: Antibubbles, also known as inverse bubbles, are liquid droplets encaged by a shell of gas within a continuous liquid phase. Here, we propose to pool the expertise of an experienced Dutch team in therapeutic acoustics and Japanese experts in drug delivery together with an innovative industry partner to discuss experiences and the potential of targeted drug delivery with antibubbles for oncology in a broad spectrum of anatomical locations.Our collaborative project aims to gain a deeper understanding of the mechanism and the effects of the ultrasound-triggered drug delivery using antibubbles for intravascular drug delivery behind dense layers of vascular lining.

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  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: BB/X01262X/1
    Funder Contribution: 151,827 GBP

    Synthetic biology engineers living systems to perform useful functions. For example, we engineer small bacteria's genomes to produce expensive vitamins or to degrade plastic waste. However, cells do not behave the same even when their genetic information is the same. For example, when we engineer cells to produce a specific molecule, some cells produce it efficiently while other cells do not. This is a problem because the overall yield of production is reduced because of inefficient cells. This increase in the production cost is one of the major obstacles that need to be overcome to commercialise many synthetic biology applications. To solve this problem, we need to know what is happening inside each cell. However, it is not an easy task because a cell is a complex object. Even a simple bacterial cell has more than one million molecules inside its cytoplasm. In this proposal, we will develop a simple cell mimic - an artificial cell system made from scratch using synthetic elements - to observe what is happening inside a cell. This will help us to understand why cells show different responses despite sharing the same genetic information. A microfluidic device will be used to produce artificial cells at a scale large enough to analyse different populations. Then we will observe individual cells and their responses. The result will be analysed with mathematical modelling to understand why certain cells behave differently from other cells. This knowledge will allow us to engineer cells that exhibit homogeneous and consistent behaviour. In a long term, this work will help commercialise a lot of synthetic biology applications by reducing their production costs.

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  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: ES/S014225/1
    Funder Contribution: 49,900 GBP

    Populism in Context is a research project of critical value and urgency given the rise of populist politics and populism's activation of tensions surrounding borders and the meaning of sovereignty, contested memories, and migration. Structured around these themes, this project will bring comparative insights on the resonance of populism in local and peripheral communities in Japan, the United Kingdom, and Russia. The aim of this project is to bring together a dynamic and diverse group of scholars from Japan and the United Kingdom with an emphasis on combining different disciplines and area studies specialisations to further develop our understandings of populism. It will give early career researchers working in geography, political science, history, area-studies, and sociology a unique opportunity to raise their international research profiles and to connect with communities and stakeholders beyond the confines of their disciplinary and geographical areas of study. The network is designed to provide opportunities for the fruitful cross-fertilisation of theoretical approaches and the sharing of empirical resources and knowledge beyond participant's areas of expertise. Collaboration will take place in the form of two workshops, one in Japan and one in the United Kingdom. These will be accompanied by literature reviews on how populism intersects with the sub-themes of borders/sovereignty, memory, and migration in three case-studies (UK, Japan and Russia). The participants will engage with non-profit organisations and local authorities impacted by populist politics, and they will co-produce papers for a major international conference. All of these activities will inform an application for securing major international funding for a project on the divergence and convergence of populist politics in different contexts. The first meeting of the project will be a workshop at Hokkaido University in Sapporo, Japan. It will serve as an introduction to the participants and their research, and will include presentations on how each participant's research relates to the project and its sub-themes. The event will also include a half-day session on identifying and exploring the key synergies between the academic participants and non-profit and local government stakeholders working with borderland communities. The second meeting of participants will take place in the United Kingdom and will combine co-produced panels at the British International Studies Association annual conference with a grant-writing workshop at the University of Birmingham. The literature reviews and conference presentations will be published online and will form the beginning of a new resource on populism in different contexts. The grant-writing component will draw on the literature reviews and to ensure impact Birmingham City Council will attend the Birmingham workshop in order to gain insights into the ways in which populist tropes pose challenges to this "super-diverse" city.

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  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/P013171/1
    Funder Contribution: 306,080 GBP

    One of the most important processes used to decontaminate nuclear waste streams, such as those resulting from cleanup operations at Fukushima, decommissioning at Sellafield, and other nuclear industry operations, is ion exchange. In this process, the radioactive contamination is removed from water by being bound onto (or into) a solid ion exchange material. Once the capacity of these ion exchange materials (which are used in the form of pellets of zeolites or titanates, in the cases of interest in this project) to take up radioactive contamination is filled ('becoming 'spent'), the pellets must somehow be converted into a solid form to ensure that they are stable for storage and final disposal. The cementation of ion exchangers into solid waste forms has been proposed and trialled in a number of locations, and using a variety of types of cements. However, there is not yet a good fundamental understanding of how the ion exchangers and the cements will interact in the long term - and this is the core focus of the proposed project. This information is essential to developing a safety case for the use of cementation for the final treatment and disposal of ion exchange resins; we must be able to predict how the materials will behave in the long term, including knowledge of any possible release of radioactivity in the distant future, to enable this to be minimised or avoided. This project will generate the essential fundamental scientific insight related to the stability of ion exchange materials in cementitious environments, using both traditional and newly-developed bespoke cement types. We will characterise the cements and waste forms to an unprecedented level of precision using sorption, solubility and microstructural measurements. This fundamental knowledge will be used to generate a predictive model for the performance of the waste forms over the full timescale required for final disposal of nuclear wastes, tens to hundreds of thousands of years. This will also enable us to provide recommendations for which types of cements should be used, and in which way they should be applied, to give the best outcomes in keeping radioactive contamination away from the environment in the ultra-long term.

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