Functionalized Ion Development Group

Innovating life science by discovering novel functionalized ions

Group Leader
Professor Kosuke Kuroda
Fields of Specialty
Green Chemistry, Biochemistry
ionic liquid, biomass, microorganism, cell, cryopreservation

Our group has been synthesizing various artificial ions and salts and applying them to life science. We focus on slightly unusual salts that become liquid at room temperature. These liquid salts are called ionic liquids, and they are known as "third liquids" that are different from both water and organic solvents. Hundreds of thousands of ionic liquids exist, and various functions can be added to ionic liquids by changing their ionic structure, so they are also called designer's solvents.

As a specific research theme, for example, we are developing ionic liquids with low toxicity to living organisms. When cells are cryopreserved, such as in sperm banks, low-toxicity solvents are needed. However, the solvents have been selected by a process of elimination so far. We proposed a new solvent for cryopreservation of animal cells by designing optimal ionic liquids for living organisms.

Since water is the solvent for all living organisms, designing other solvents is novel and challenging. Although we know it is not easy to realize, it surely has a potential to revolutionize basic life sciences. We are promoting our researches toward this dream.