Institute for Integrated Cell-Material Sciences, Kyoto University (iCeMS) iCeMS

Tanaka, Motomu PI Lab
Biological Physics, Interface Science, Non-Equilibrium Soft Matter


Tanaka, Motomu Professor Tanaka, Motomu
Hoerning, Marcel Assistant Professor Hoerning, Marcel
Yamamoto, Akihisa Research Associate  
Suzuki, Ryo Research Associate  
Kawamura, Atsuki Research Support Staff  
Kotake, Kenjiro Research Support Staff  
Matsumoto, Aki Research Support Staff  
Segawa, Tomoko Research Support Staff  
Yoshida, Mieko Secretary  

Research Overview

The Tanaka Laboratory is cultivating a new research field "Physics of Cells and Tissues" by the combination of (1) tailor-made biointerface models (such as "supported membranes", Tanaka and Sackmann, Nature, 437, 656 (2005)) and (2) quantitative physical tools both in real space (e.g. live-cell imaging and analysis) and reciprocal space (advanced X-ray and neutron scattering, diffraction imaging).

One of our focuses in the iCeMS is to shed light on the interfaces, " where cells meet materials ". The reactions at soft, biological interfaces cannot be described only as a sum of individual molecular elements, which has been a common strategy in the past decades. In order to deal with dynamic, stochastic processes out of equilibrium, such as diseases and development, we must consider the cooperativity and fluctuation in mesoscopic reaction spaces. Thus, the use of methods and concepts in statistical physics is a powerful strategy to extract spatio-temporal correlations. In addition to the development of new "in house" physical techniques to quantify the strength of cell-material interactions, we intensively perform cutting-edge research at synchrotron and neutron facilities to gain hierarchical-structures at soft interfaces over different length scales.

Our laboratory is a highly interdisciplinary, international team that consists of people with training backgrounds in physics, chemistry, and biology. The principal investigator (Prof. Motomu Tanaka) has developed his scientific career in Europe (Germany), serving as a full professor in chemistry and physics at the University of Heidelberg . Within the framework of Japanese-German University Partnership Program (HeKKSaGOn Alliance), he got a cross-appointment as the "First HeKKSaGOn Professor" at Kyoto University since April 2013. Our global challenge is to establish a new scientific discipline in iCeMS through tight collaboration with our main lab in the University of Heidelberg (Germany) and many collaborating partners in Europe and Japan.

    Selected papers

  • E. Schneck, T. Schubert, O.V. Konovalov, B.E. Quinn, T. Gutsmann, K. Brandenburg, R.G. Oliveira, D.A. Pink, M. Tanaka, Quantitative Determination of Ion Distributions in Bacterial Lipopolysaccharide Membranes by Grazing-Incidence X-ray Fluorescence Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 107, 9147 (2010).
  • R.G. Oliveira, E. Schneck, B.E. Quinn, O.V. Konovalov, K. Brandenburg, T. Gutsmann, T. Gill, C.B. Hanna, D.A. Pink, M. Tanaka, Crucial roles of charged saccharide moieties in survival of gram negative bacteria against protamine revealed by combination of grazing incidence x-ray structural characterizations and Monte Carlo simulations. Phys. Rev. E. 81, 041901 (2010).
  • H. Y. Yoshikawa, F. F. Rossetti, S. Kaufmann, T. Kaindl, J. Madsen, U. Engel, A. L. Lewis, S. P. Armes, M. Tanaka, Quantitative Evaluation of Mechanosensing of Cells on Dynamically Tunable Hydrogels. J. Am. Chem. Soc., 133, 1367 (2011).
  • T. Kaindl, H. Rieger, L. Kaschel, U. Engel, A. Schmaus, J. Sleeman, M. Tanaka, Spatio-Temporal Patterns of Pancreatic Cancer Cells Expressing CD44 Isoforms on Supported Membranes Displaying Hyaluronic Acid Oligomers Arrays. PLoS One, 7, e42911 (2012).
  • A. Koerner, C. Deichmann, F.F. Rossetti, A. Koehler, O. Konovalov, D. Wedlich, M. Tanaka, Cell Differentiation of Pluripotent Tissue Sheets Immobilized on Supported Membranes Displaying Cadherin-11. PLoS One, 8, e54749 (2013).

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