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Campus Now

Autumn Issue (Nov.)


Contributing to Society through Research

A stream of research reports from Waseda

A world first: Success in the medical application of nano band-aids

The film thickness of 75 nm (nanometers) is 1/100,000 of commercial sold band-aids.

Together with the National Defense Medical College, a research group including Professor Shinji Takeoka of the Faculty of Science and Engineering was the first in the world to successfully perform medical application of ultra-thin polymer film (nano sheets) using natural polysaccharides as wound dressings (nano band-aids) for surgical procedures performed in animal experiments. It was confirmed that simply affixing a nano sheet to wounds on soft tissues such as the lungs or the stomach enabled stable closure even under stress equivalent to that of a sneeze. Nano band-aids make it possible to dramatically reduce the time required for surgical procedures. The band-aids are also expected to make major contributions to endoscopic surgery and other fields for which suturing is difficult.

Advanced electric micro bus selected for MOE project

WEB, currently undergoing experiments. A body which is bigger all around will be revealed next year.

An advanced electric micro bus named "WEB" (Waseda advanced Electric micro Bus) has been selected for the "Project for the Formulation of a Model to Spread Advanced Environmental Technology through Cooperation between Industry, Academia, and Government" at the MOE (Ministry of the Environment). WEB is currently being developed and tested at the Environmental Research Institute by a group led by Professor Yasuhiro Daisho and Professor Yushi Kamiya of the Faculty of Science and Engineering. The implementation of a driving test for the newly completed bus is scheduled for next year on the public roads of Honjo City and Kumagaya City in Saitama Prefecture. When stopped on top of a special "non-contact charging device," WEB is capable of performing high-speed charging through electromagnetic induction, without the need for cords or other forms of connection. Furthermore, WEB emits small amounts of carbon dioxide, noise and vibration. The capabilities of WEB will be verified while also giving ordinary citizens a chance to ride in the vehicle.

Reduce medical mistakes! Commercialization of surgical training equipment

Quantitative evaluation for suturing operations have become possible.

The Atsuo Takanishi Laboratory at the Faculty of Science and Engineering received grants from the MEXT's Knowledge Cluster Initiative entitled "Gifu & Ogaki Region Robotic Advanced Medicine Cluster" which enabled the commercialization of surgical training equipment "Suture Evaluation Simulator" that was developed through joint research with Kyoto Kagaku Co., Ltd.

The equipment uses robot technology to display a real-time graph showing changes in the shape of skin while the trainee is performing suturing operations. It is also possible to save video images. After the surgery, trainees can confirm their level of study by reviewing information which was gained, such as the amount of force exerted on the skin and the time required for the operation.

Introducing an Angkor Watt restoration project at an onsite center

Onsite restoration of Angkor

The research group led by Professor Takeshi Nakagawa of the Faculty of Science and Engineering (Director of the Japanese Government Team for Safeguarding Angkor) has conducted activities for saving the Angkor Watt site located in Cambodia. On August 6th, the group established an onsite facility named the "Bayon Information Center." The center uses photograph panels and actual excavated relics to introduce the history and temples of the Angkor site to individuals such as tourists. The center also introduces the current restoration and research projects being performed for Angkor.

Furthermore, there are plans to create educational programs for young generations of Cambodians, and to utilize the center as a base for the gathering and conveying of information regarding history and site restoration.

New model of wheelchair robot makes life easy for the user, even without assistance

Without changing direction from the bed, RODEM is entered through a piggyback-like position.

A "no-sitting" new model of wheelchair named "RODEM" has been developed by the VEDA International Robot R&D Center. The center was created by organizations such as Waseda University and Kyushu University, and Professor Atsuo Takanishi of our university (Faculty of Science and Engineering) serves as Center Director. On August 26th, the center revealed a prototype of RODEM at the Waseda University Center for Advanced Biomedical Studies. RODEM has no backrest and users enter the wheelchair from the rear by placing it on their back. Due to this unique design, any person who can raise their upper body can enter and exit the wheelchair, even without assistance. Easy operation is another feature of the wheelchair. The center is currently recruiting partner corporations for the production of RODEM, with the goal of beginning mass production in approximately 1 year.