Soft matter, including polymers, is found in many of the foods, cosmetics, and other products that surround us. Soft matter exhibits unique properties that are intermediate between solid (elasticity) and liquid (viscosity). Because our biological tissues exhibit similar intermediate properties, the design of biomaterials for contact with our body requires an understanding and control of the complex deformation and flow behavior of materials. The discipline that discusses the flow and deformation of materials is called “rheology.” On the other hand, the rheological properties of materials are strongly correlated with the molecular dynamics inside the material.
The major objective of our laboratory is to construct and develop a discipline that precisely designs materials to match human sensibility from the molecular level via rheology (Molecular psychorheology). To this purpose, we are establishing quantitative evaluation methods for sensibility, and developing techniques to elucidate and control the correlation between rheology and molecular dynamics, with the aim of freely controlling rheology.