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Nagai, Moeto

Affiliation Department of Mechanical Engineering
Title Associate Professor
Fields of Research BioMEMS, Biohybrid System, Micro-Nano Mechatronics, MicroTAS, Biofabrication, Micromachining
Degree Ph.D. in Engineering from University of Tokyo
Academic Societies The Japan Society Mechanical Engineering, The Japan Society for Precision Engineering, The Institute of Electrical Engineers of Japan
E-mail nagai@me
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Laboratory website URL
Researcher information URL(researchmap) Researcher information


Cells are the basic unit of life, but due to their high level of complexity, efficient elucidation of cellular functions is desired. Furthermore, it is known that it is difficult to integrate sensors and actuators in conventional micromachines. To solve these problems, the purpose of our research is to contribute to the fields of health and mechanical engineering by engineering cells. We aim to utilize cells as micro-robots that exist in the natural world and apply them to parallel computation and drug delivery.

The way we handle cells is based on tools made with micro and nanofabrication techniques. The physical methods of an operation mainly use fluid, light, electrical and magnetic energy. Based on these microstructures and manipulation techniques, we are developing tools for cell functional analysis and microorganism-driven MEMS.

We are conducting research and technological development mainly on two ways: "systems for efficiently investigating the functions of cells" and "systems that incorporate cells".

  1. Massively parallel single-cell manipulation: We will develop a microsystem to efficiently analyze and control the function of a single cell by using massively parallel cell manipulation tools fabricated using micro-nano processing technology. By investigating the functions of cells, we gain knowledge that is useful in the fields of medicine and pharmacy.
  2. Microorganism-driven microsystems: we will develop microsystems that combine artificially fabricated machines with sensors and actuators of microorganisms. Our goal is to develop a system that can dynamically control the microenvironment using multiple microorganisms responding autonomously to temporal microspace.

Theme1:Microsystems powered by microorganisms

Single cell of Vorticella convallaria immobilized in a PDMS micro-chamber

The use of micro-nano time and space are desired in life and green fields. This use requires the development of an element controlling microenvironment. We apply microorganisms as a part of microsystems and integrate them with artificially fabricated micro-structures. Our target is to achieve the development of systems that have a designed input and output. The advantages of biological microorganism cells are (1) integration of energy conversion circuits, actuators, sensors, and control systems, (2) autonomy, and (3) massively-parallel processing. The use of biological cells can break through the limit of conventional microsystems. This combination usage allows us to address micro-nano time and space in life and green markets.

Selected publications and works

M. Nagai, K. Tanizaki, and T. Shibata, J. of Microelectromechanical Systems, Vol. 28, p. 419 (2019).
M. Nagai, N. Matsumoto, T. Kawashima and T. Shibata, Sensor Actuat. B-Chem, Vol. 188, p. 1255 (2013).
M. Nagai, H. Asai, and H. Fujita, Biomicrofluidics, Vol.4 (3) p.034109 (2010).
M. Nagai, S. Ryu, T. Thorsen, P. Matsudaira, and H. Fujita, Lab Chip, Vol.10 (12) p.1574 (2010).


Biohybrid system, Bioactuator, Environment-responsive

Theme2:Development of cell station capable of massively parallell manipulation

An array of hollow microprobes fabricated by MEMS technology

Massively parallel analysis and control of cellular functions are required for the progress of medicine and cell biology. To analyze and control cellular functions, we develop a system capable of massively parallel manipulation of single cells. We fabricate an array of microprobes by MEMS technologies. The arrayed structure is used for cell placement and intracellular delivery. Electrokinetic and fluidic forces are applied to manipulate cells and deliver biomolecules in a precise manner.

Selected publications and works

M. Nagai, K. Kato, S. Soga, T.S. Santra, and T. Shibata, Micromachines, Vol. 11(4), p. 442 (2020).
M. Nagai, K. Kato, K. Oohara, and T. Shibata, Micromachines Vol. 8(12), 350, (2017).
M. Nagai, K. Oohara, K. Kato, T. Kawashima, and T. Shibata, Biomed. Microdevices, Vol. 17, 11 pp., (2015).
M. Nagai, T. Torimoto, T. Miyamoto, T. Kawashima, and T. Shibata, Jpn. J. Appl. Phys. Vol. 52, p. 047002 (2013).


Cell station, Single cell manipulation, Intracellular delivery, Cell Assembly

Title of class

Mechanical Technology 2(B11530170), Experimental Practice for Mechanical Engineerings (B11610021, B11610023), CAD/CAM/CAE ExerciseCAD/CAM/CAE Exercise (B11630033 ), Microsystems Engineering (M21621150)

Others (Awards, Committees, Board members)

MEXT 2018 Science and Technology Prize
2013 The Institute of Electrical Engineers of Japan (IEEJ), Sensors and Micromachines Society, Best Paper Award
2013 The Japan Society of Mechanical Engineers (JSME), Tokai Branch, Young Scientist Award
IEEE 2014 International Symposium on Micro-NanoMechatronics and Human Science (MHS 2014), Best Poster Award

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