Researcher's Profile

  • Project Associate Professor
  • Hidefumi MITSUNO
  • Intelligent Cooperative Systems
  • Insect Controlled Space Design

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Jun 2007 Project Researcher, RCAST, The University of Tokyo(UTokyo)
March 2009 PhD, Agriculture, Kyoto University
November 2013 Project Research Associate, RCAST, UTokyo
June 2016 Research Associate, RCAST, UTokyo
July 2020 Project Associate Professor, RCAST, UTokyo

Research Interests

Insects detect environmental information that changes every moment to exhibit adaptive behavior to the environment. Thus, insects have a highly sensitive, selective, and real-time olfactory sense capable of discriminating various chemicals (odorants) in the environment. By understanding and utilizing the excellent olfactory mechanisms of insects, we aim to develop a practical odorant biosensor to help solve various problems relevant in the human environment.

1) Understanding the olfactory mechanisms of insects
Insects possess sex pheromone receptors for male-female communication and odorant receptors for detection of general odorous components. The molecular recognition mechanism of these receptors, the highly sensitive odorant (pheromone) detection mechanism, and the discrimination mechanism of complex odors composed of multiple components remain unclear. Our research group attempts to elucidate the mechanism for acquiring odor information by identifying odorant receptors from various insect species, clarifying the highly sensitive odor detection mechanism, and analyzing their response profiles. In addition, we aim to understand the highly evolved olfactory mechanism that can distinguish complex odors based on the odor response profiles of various odorant receptors.

2) Development of bio-sensing technology based on the olfactory mechanism of insects and its practical applications
In order to respond to various economic and social needs ranging from improvement of quality of life, such as food quality control and environmental monitoring, to safety crisis management, technologies for detecting various odorants with high sensitivity are required. We have successfully reconstructed insect odorant receptors in cultured cells and silkmoths using genetic engineering technology. Based on these methodologies, we attempt to develop "sensor cells" for visualizing various odorants by fluorescence and "sensor insects" for detecting and localizing various odor sources. In addition, by developing a database based on odor response profiles of various insect odorant receptors, we aim at practical applications of the odorant biosensors that can detect desired odorants with high sensitivity on demand.


Insect Physiology, Genetic engineering, Olfaction, Biosensor, Odorant receptor, Cultured cell

Educational Systems

  • Department of Advanced Interdisciplinary Studies, Graduate school of Engineering

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