Research Units

Bio-inspired Functional Molecular System

Inspired by controlling of chemical reaction and molecular function by chiral structures on Nature, the fabrication of artificial chiral materials has attracted scientists. In this research unit, we develop bio-inspired multi-functional systems with chiral molecular structures for controlling of their function. For photonic, electronic, magnetic and catalytic applications, we will fabricate supramolecular systems with chirality by using foldamer and glutamide derivatives developed by Dr. Ferrand et al. and us, respectively. Induction of new properties and/or improvement in functional performance will be useful for several application fields like bio-sensor, chiroptical memory and security devices, electronic and spintronic devices, and catalytic reaction acceleration for carbon dioxide reduction.

Unit members

  • Japan
    Unit Coordinator
    Yutaka KUWAHARA
    Assistant Professor, Faculty of Advanced Science and Technology, Kumamoto University
  • USA
    Tomoyasu MANI Website
    Assistant Professor, University of Connecticut
  • France
    Yann FERRAND Website
    Research Director, University of Bordeaux, CNRS
  • France
    Céline OLIVIER
    Research Associate, University of Bordeaux, CNRS
  • USA
    Etsuko FUJITA
    Senior Chemist, Brookhaven National Laboratory



Publication with members as coauthors

Brian N. DiMarco, Dmitry E. Polyansky, David C. Grills, Ping Wang, Yutaka Kuwahara, Xuan Zhao, Etsuko Fujita, “Structural and Electronic Influences on Rates of Tertpyridine−Amine CoIII−H Formation During Catalytic H2 Evolution in an Aqueous Environment,” ChemPhysChem, vol22, 14, (2021) pp1478-1487,

Yutaka Kuwahara, Mio Ito, Tatsumi Iwamoto, Makoto Takafuji, Hirotaka Ihara, Naoya Ryu, and Tomoyasu Mani, “Chemical redox-induced chiroptical switching of supramolecular assemblies of viologens,” RSC Advances, vol12, 4, (2022) pp2019-2025,


web-published as a book chapter

H. Ihara, M. Takafuji, Y. Kuwahara, Chiroptical Polymer Functionalized by Chiral Nanofibrillar Network, DOI: 10.5772/intechopen.96853.



(i) KAKEN Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (C), JSPS, as a PI, Direct cost (total): 3,300,000 yen, FY: 2020 – 2022.

(ii) KAKEN Grant-in-Aid for Challenging Research (Exploratory), JSPS, as a Co-I, Direct cost (total as Co-I): 1,100,000 yen, FY: 2020 – 2022.

(iii) KAKEN Fund for the Promotion of Joint International Research (Fostering Joint International Research), JSPS, as a PI, Direct cost (total): 9,200,000 yen, FY: 2017 – 2019 (extended until 2020).





(i) M. Matsunaga, Y. Kuwahara, M. Ito, T. Iwamoto, M. Takafuji, H. Ihara, Chiroptical properties for chiral assembling systems of metal complexes induced by glutamide derivatives as supramolecular templates, Materials Research Meeting 2021 (MRM2021), Hybrid (onsite at Yokohama and online), Dec. 14, 2021.

(ii) Y. Kuwahara, N. Nagatomo, M. Takafuji, K. Yoshida, S. Nagaoka, R. Oda, T. Hamada, H. Ihara, Enantioselective chiroptical response with glutamide-based supramolecular organogels, The International Chemical Congress of Pacific Basin Societies (Pacifichem 2020), Hybrid (online and onsite at Hawaii, USA), Dec. 21, 2021.

(iii) M. Ito, Y. Kuwahara, N. Ryu, T. Mani, H. Ihara, M. Takafuji, Chiroptical properties and their stability for supramolecular assemblies of viologen-modified glutamide derivatives and their reduced derivatives, The International Chemical Congress of Pacific Basin Societies (Pacifichem 2020), Hybrid (online and onsite at Hawaii, USA), Dec. 21, 2021.

(iv) M. Ito, Y. Kuwahara, T. Iwamoto, N. Ryu, M. Takafuji, H. Ihara, Changes in physicochemical properties for supramolecular nano-assemblies of cationic glutamide derivatives by electron-donating and electron-accepting, The 70th SPSJ Annual Meeting (Japanese), Online, May 28, 2021.

(i) M. Matsunaga, Y. Kuwahara, T. Iwamoto, S. Hamada, H. Ihara, M. Takahuji, Fabrication and evaluation for supramolecular assemblies of metal complexes induced by cationic glutamide derivatives as templates, The 69th SPSJ Annual Meeting (Japanese), May 28, 2020.

(ii) S. Mashima, N. Ryu, Y. Kuwahara, M. Takafuji, H. Jintoku, R. Oda, H. Ihara, Porphyrin-functionalized chiral molecular assembly for multi-chiro-informative system, The 69th SPSJ Annual Meeting (Japanese), May 28, 2020.

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