Biophysical Dynamics Laboratories

Nano-Biophotonics Group

Prof. INOUYE Yasushi Prof. INOUYE Yasushi


Nano-Biophotonics, Plasmon resonance, Raman spectroscopic analysis, Metal nano cluster, Manipulation of photonic molecules

Observing bio molecules by making full use of photonics

We carry out research on nano-biophotnics, a new research field that spans the field of nanotechnology, biology, and photonics. We develop techniques to observe living cells and biomolecules with ultra-high spatial resolution and sensitivity, by utilizing nanotechnology based on nano-materials such as metal nanoparticles/clusters, and vibrational spectroscopy such as rthe Raman analysis of molecules. Our current topics are focused on the development of synthesizing fluorescent metal nano clusters for bio-imaging, the explication of the functions of neural cells by Raman spectroscopy and imaging, the measurement of living cells by Brillouin spectroscopy, the development of ultra-high sensitive plasmon sensors using Fano resonance, optical nano measurement and the development of imaging techniques using an optical-induced nano manipulation of molecules.

Fluorescent image of HeLa cells stained by Pt nano clusters.


Yasushi Inouye (Professor) inoue[at]
Hidekazu Ishitobi (Associate Professor) h-ishito[at]
Kyoko Masui (Visiting Researcher)  
Naoko Hara (Secretary)  

You could probably reach more information of individual researchers by Research Map and researcher's search of Osaka-U.

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What is your hot research topic?
Our main focus is metal nanoclusters composed of several to several tens of metal atoms. These metal nanoclusters have optical characteristics similar to those of semiconductor quantum dots, and exhibit intrinsic absorption and emission characteristics depending on the number of atoms that are formed when electrons are confined in a space of 1 nanometer or less. We are vigorously developing functionalized fluorescent probes by establishing nanocluster synthesis methods, elucidating luminescence mechanisms, and controlling the electronic state of nanoclusters via alloying and chemical modification.
What is your breakthrough or research progress in the last 5 years?
We have developed probes for biosensing and imaging, including fluorescent metal nanoclusters composed of platinum atoms and metal nanostructures that resonantly scatter light of a specific wavelength (called the plasmon effect). Until now, only blue fluorescence had been emitted, but by optimizing the synthesis conditions, we succeeded in synthesizing fluorescent platinum nanoclusters that emit green and yellow fluorescence. We have also clarified the formation mechanism of nanoclusters through various analyses. Furthermore, DNA structural changes due to transcription factors have been clarified at the nano-scale using the plasmon effect resulting from the dimeric structure of metal nanoparticles.
What kind of background do your lab members have?
We have been conducting research with members specializing in various research fields such as nano-photonics (spectroscopy, optical measurement, photochemistry), nanotechnology, biophysics, synthetic chemistry, biochemistry, and surface science.
Do you collaborate with other institutions and universities?
In Japan, research is being promoted in collaboration with the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), Shizuoka University, the Toyohashi University of Technology, and overseas, with the Optics & Photonics Center at the Moroccan Foundation of Advanced Science, Innovation and Research (MAScIR), and the Australian National University in Australia.
What kind of careers do your Lab's alumni go on to?
Manufacturers of precision instruments that handle optical instruments, measuring instruments, electronics, etc., and government agencies.
How do you develop your research?
In addition to the development of new probes that realize the sensing and imaging of biomolecules with high sensitivity and high spatial resolution by synthesizing metal nanomaterials such as fluorescent nanoclusters, measuring and evaluating optical properties, and elucidating the luminescence mechanism we would like to elucidate the kinetics of biomolecules at the nano-level by devising measurement methods and microscopic imaging methods that make maximum use of probe characteristics. We are also developing quantitative measurement and imaging methods using near-infrared spectroscopy, which is transparent to the living body, and aiming to establish a new method for monitoring metabolic processes.

Research Highlights

Publications (Research Articles, Reviews, Books)


Hidekazu Ishitobi, Tomoko Akiyama, Zouheir Sekkat, and Yasushi Inouye

Optical Trapping of Photosoftened Solid Polymers

J. Phys. Chem. C 124, 26037-26042  2020 DOI:10.1021/acs.jpcc.0c08068

Wataru Minoshima, Kyoko Masui, Tomomi Tani, Yasunori Nawa, Satoshi Fujita, Hidekazu Ishitobi, Chie Hosokawa andYasushi Inouye

Deuterated Glutamate-Mediated Neuronal Activity on Micro-Electrode Arrays

11, 830  2020 DOI:10.3390/mi11090830

S. Elhani, H. Ishitobi, Y. Inouye, A. Ono, S. Hayashi, Z. Sekkat

Surface Enhanced Visible Absorption of Dye Molecules in the Near-Field of Gold Nanoparticles

Sci Rep 3.134027778  2020 PMID:32127595 DOI:10.1038/s41598-020-60839-0


N. Andam, S. Refki, S. Hayasi, A. Rahmouni, H. Ishitobi, D. V. Nesterenko, Y. Inouye, Z. Sekkat

Plasmonic coupled modes in metal-insulator-metal structures for sensing applications

Proceedings of SPIE 10722:107220O  2018 DOI:10.1117/12.2319936

S. Refki, S. Hayashi, H. Ishitobi, D. V. Nesterenko, A. Rahmouni, Y. Inouye, Z. Sekkat

Resolution Enhancement of Plasmonic Sensors by Metal‐Insulator‐Metal Structures

Ann. Phys.-Berlin 530:1700411  2018 DOI:10.1002/andp.201700411


H. Ishitobi, T. Kobayashi, A. Ono, Y. Inouye

Near-field optical mapping of single gold nano particles using photoinduced polymer movement of azo-polymers

Opt. Commun. 387:24-29  2017 DOI:10.1016/j.optcom.2016.11.028


Z. Sekkat, S. Hayashi, D. V. Nesterenko, A. Rahmouni, S. Refki, H. Ishitobi, Y. Inouye, S. Kawata

Plasmonic coupled modes in metal-dielectric multilayer structures: Fano resonance and giant field enhancement

Opt. Express 24(18):20080-20088  2016 PMID:27607617 DOI:10.1364/OE.24.020080

S. Hayashi, D. V. Nesterenko, A. Rahmouni, H. Ishitobi, Y. Inouye, S. Kawata, Z. Sekkat

Light-tunable Fano resonance in metal-dielectric multilayer structure

Sci Rep 6:33144  2016 PMID:27623741 DOI:10.1038/srep33144

Our ideal candidate (as a graduate student)

We are looking for a highly motivated person to work on our research topics as our lab member. Our lab welcomes the person who loves taking care of creatures, hand working and handcraft too. Any kind of background (such as your expertise or major) is available.


Nano-Biophotonics Group, Graduate School of Frontier Biosciences, Osaka University,
1-3 Yamadaoka, Suita, Osaka 565-0871 Japan.

TEL: +81-6-6879-4600

E-mail: inoue[at] (Prof. Yasushi Inouye)

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