Centers & Labs

RIKEN Center for Emergent Matter Science

Emergent Bioinspired Soft Matter Research Team

Team Leader: Yasuhiro Ishida (D.Eng.)
Yasuhiro  Ishida(D.Eng.)

Our team aims to create water-based materials, referred to as aqua materials, as replacements for conventional plastics. Taking advantage of their unique properties as moldable, portable water, together with the elaboration of their inner or surface parts, we will demonstrate their various applications as intelligent soft materials. We are employing a wide range of chemicals as the components of aqua materials, in order to improve their properties and to ultimately realize environment-conscious materials. Our challenge also includes the rational design of novel bio-inspired materials, by assembling molecules with dynamic and static functions within aqua materials used as scaffolds.

Main Research Field


Related Research Fields

Materials Sciences

Research Subjects

  • Aqua materials: environmentally friendly alternatives to plastic based on water
  • Bioinspired soft materials with anisotropic structures by external field-induced orientation
  • Chiral molecular flasks by the template reactions in liquid crystals

Selected Publications

Papers with an asterisk(*) are based on research conducted outside of RIKEN.
  1. Matsui, R., Ohtani, M., Yamada, K., Hikima, T., Takata, M., Nakamura, T., Koshino, H., Ishida, Y., and Aida, T.:
    “Chemically Locked Bicelles with High Thermal and Kinetic Stability”
    Angewandte Chemie International Edition 54, 13284–13288 (2015).
  2. Li, C., Cho, J., Yamada, K., Hashizume, D., Araoka, F., Takezoe, H., Aida, T., and Ishida, Y.:
    “Macroscopic Ordering of Helical Pores for Arraying Guest Molecules Noncentrosymmetrically”
    Nature Communications 2015, 6, 8418.
  3. Kim, Y. S., Liu, M., Ishida, Y., Ebina, Y., Osada, M., Sasaki, T., Hikima, T., Takata, M., and Aida, T.:
    “Thermoresponsive Actuation Enabled by Permittivity Switching in an Electrostatically Anisotropic Hydrogel”
    Nature Materials 14, 1002–1007 (2015).
  4. Liu, M., Ishida, Y., Ebina, Y., Sasaki, T., Hikima, T., Takata, M., and Aida, T.:
    “An Anisotropic Hydrogel with Electrostatic Repulsion between Cofacially Aligned Nanosheets”
    Nature 517, 68–74 (2015).
  5. Wu, L., Ohtani, M., Takata, M., Saeki, A., Seki, S., Ishida, Y., and Aida, T.:
    “Magnetically Induced Anisotropic Orientation of Graphene Oxide Locked by in Situ Hydrogelation”
    ACS Nano 8, 4640–4649 (2014).
  6. Tamesue, S., Ohtani, M., Yamada, K., Ishida, Y., Spruell, J. M., Lynd, N. A., Hawker, C. J., and Aida, T.:
    “Linear versus Dendritic Molecular Binders for Hydrogel Network Formation with Clay Nanosheets: Studies with ABA Triblock Copolyethers Carrying Guanidinium Ion Pendants”
    Journal of the American Chemical Society 135, 15650–15655 (2013).
  7. Liu, M., Ishida, Y., Ebina, Y., Sasaki, T., and Aida, T.:
    “Photolatently Modulable Hydrogels using Unilamellar Titania Nanosheets as Photocatalytic Crosslinkers”
    Nature Communications 4, 2029 (2013).
  8. Maggini, L., Liu, M., Ishida, Y., and Bonifagi, D.:
    “Anisotropically Luminescent Hydrogels Containing Magnetically-aligned MWCNTs-Eu(III) Hybrids”
    Advanced Materials 25, 2462–2467 (2013).
  9. Ishida, Y., Matsuoka, Y., Kai, Y., Yamada, K., Nakagawa, K., Asahi, T., and Saigo, K.:
    “Metastable Liquid Crystal as Time-responsive Reaction Medium: Aging-induced Dual Enantioselective Control”
    Journal of the American Chemical Society 135, 6407–6410 (2013).
  10. Ishida, Y., Achalkumar, A. S., Kato, S., Kai, Y., Hayashi, Y., Misawa, A., Yamada, K., Matsuoka, Y., Shiro, M., and Saigo, K.:
    “Tunable Chiral Reaction Media Based on Two-component Liquid Crystals: Regio-, Diastereo-, and Enantio-controlled Photodimerization of Anthracenecarboxylic Acids”
    Journal of the American Chemical Society 132, 17475-17446 (2010).

Lab Members

Principal Investigator

Yasuhiro Ishida
Team Leader

Core Members

Yoshihiro Yamauchi
Postdoctoral Researcher
Noriyuki Uchida
Postdoctoral Researcher
Xiaoyu Li
Postdoctoral Researcher
Joonil Cho
Visiting Scientist
Zhifang Sun
Junior Research Associate
Koki Sano
Student Trainee
Xiang Wang
Student Trainee
Kento Ueno
Student Trainee
Naoki Igarashi
Student Trainee
Kuniyo Yamada
Technical Staff I
Noriko Horimoto
Technical Staff II

Contact information

106, Frontier Material Research Facilities, 2-1 Hirosawa, Wako, Saitama 351-0198, Japan
Tel: +81-(0)48-462-1111 (ext. 6351)
Fax: +81-(0)48-467-8214

Email: y-ishida [at]

Related links

Recent research results

December 2, 2016: RIKEN RESEARCH
Photonic water shows nanosheets’ true colors
December 18, 2015: RIKEN RESEARCH
Helical pores make perfect hosts
December 4, 2015: RIKEN RESEARCH
Building better bilayers
October 16, 2015: RIKEN RESEARCH
A hydrogel flexes its muscles
August 11, 2015: Press Release
New hydrogel stretches and contracts like a heat-driven muscle

Further information