Creation of a Smart, Healthy, and Long-Lived Society that Supports People’s Daily Life with High Quality of Life
The stresses that people may experience in daily life in society, even if they look minor and small, increase the risk of various diseases. Research is required to create a society where people can have daily healthy life with a high quality of life, even when their physiological functions are impaired or lost due to diseases. This division advocates the value of smart healthcare systems that support to realize such a society and conducts research on the development of elemental technologies and their effective integrations.
Research Structure and Members of this Division
This division is divided into four major groups, and some of their research activities are introduced below.
○ Sensing Group
・ Elucidation of the mechanisms of health promotion and longevity through physical activity
Based on exercise physiology, behavioral physiology, material science, and metabolism, this group uses non-contact methods to quantify the amount of physical activity using animal models and explore the optimal amount of physical activity for physical and mental health in order to elucidate the mechanisms of health promotion and longevity from daily physical activity.
・ Analysis of Message Nanoscale Materials Derived from Skeletal Muscle/ Fat Tissue on Physical Function and Mental Health Quantitative visualization of various mental and physical functions in
humans is being attempted. In particular, Yanagita, Umezawa, and Kobayashi in our members have collaborated on a health promotion/longevity mechanism through exercise that is opened up by brain-organ communication, and are currently working on a research project to reveal the mechanism of brain-peripheral organ communication associated with changes in the amount of physical activity. Physicochemical and biological characteristics of nanoscale structures produced and released from the muscle and fat cells respond to environmental stimuli are also being investigated, aiming to visualize the brain-organ communications.
○ Device Operation and Control Group
・ Transcutaneous energy transmission for electronic devices implanted in the body
Transcutaneous energy transmission and information transmission systems for medical electronic devices implanted inside the body are studied. This system completely reduces the risk of infection when supplying the drive energy essential for device operation. and achieves miniaturization and weight reduction through battery-less operation (Figure 1).
Fig. 1 Wireless power transmission to an implantable momentum meter
・ Development of a Electromagnetic Phantom
When conducting wireless power or information transmission between inside and outside living organisms, it is essential to investigate the effects of the presence of living bodies on the operation of the equipment and electromagnetic radiation from the equipment to ensure stable operation of the equipment. By using materials that mimic the electromagnetic properties of living bodies, these studies can be performed without animal experiments. In this research, we are developing various types of simulated living organisms.
○ Integrated Circuits and Signal Processing Group
The Transmission Group and the Information and Communication Group conduct research on high-frequency and high-speed signal processing circuits, low-voltage and low-power circuits, and their miniaturization, which are indispensable in the process of hardware implementation. We are developing
high-performance amplifiers (low noise, high input impedance), analog-to-digital conversion circuits (ADC) and digital-to-analog conversion circuits (DAC) with high resolution and low power consumption, which are essential for measuring minute bioelectric potentials. In addition, as sensing devices become increasingly popular, we are analyzing device variation and studying variation-resistant circuits in order to realize robust circuits that are low-cost and highly resistant to variation.
○ Information and Communication Group
・ Small antennas installed in the vicinity of living bodies
We are researching and developing compact, high-gain biometric antennas that can be used in the vicinity of living bodies and are not easily affected by them.
・ Low power consumption, high quality, and secure wireless communication
This group is researching communication methods that achieve high speed, large capacity, high quality/low latency, multiple simultaneous connections, and low power consumption without degrading transmission quality. These are envisioned to transmit biometric and other information measured by the sensing group to medical facilities using wireless communications. Furthermore, research conduct on the promotion of secure, safe, and secure use of radio waves by defending information and communications against unauthorized access and malicious attacks.
Future Development Goals
We are promoting active interactions among division members covering a wide range of specific fields, to emphasize joint research within and outside TUS, and to encourage young researchers.
This division conducts elemental and interdisciplinary research on elemental technology and crossdisciplinary related to biometric sensing for health diagnosis to telemedicine, and high-quality, secure wireless communications, with the aim of supporting a smart, healthy, and longevity society in which people can lead healthy and high quality of life.