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Research Summary

Tissue Engineering

Tissue engineering is a new technology to reconstruct tissue-like structures in vitro by mimicking cell environment in tissues and organs.
The technology has been applied in the fields of bioartificial organs and cell transplantations as regenerative medicine.
In recent years, human embryonic stem (ES) cell lines have been established and investigated their differentiation into various tissues and organs to use for regenerative medicine.
Thus, the development of effective tissue engineering technologies is highly desired nowadays.
In our laboratory, we have developed novel methodologies for cell patterning, construction of 3-D tissue-like structures, differentiation of ES cells into functional cells, and establishment of ES cell lines.

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Transgenic avian bioreactor

Biopharmaceuticals such as monoclonal antibodies and erythropoietin have been produced mainly by recombinant animal cell cultures.
However, the production cost in animal cell cultures is very high even though genetic engineering and culture technology have well developed.
In recent years, transgenic bioreactors have been proposed as a novel production system for biopharmaceutical proteins.
We have developed various techniques to generate transgenic avian species for the production of biopharmaceuticals into eggs, and we have attempted to produce recombinant proteins using transgenic avian bioreactors.

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Site-specific gene transduction / In situ gene amplification

In gene therapy and generation of transgenic animals, development of cell type-specific and/or sequence-specific gene transfer have been highly desired as a new procedure for gene delivery.
We have attempted to engineer viral vectors with a modified envelop to improve specificity for gene delivery, and we have also attempted to develop site-specific recombination and integration of transgene. Moreover, in order to enhance the productivity of recombinant proteins, we have developed a gene amplification procedure into chromosome of target cells.

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Cell-cell/-ECM interactions / Analysis of gene/cell functions

In the tissue engineering field, it is necessary to characterize local cell environment in tissues and organs to develop new techniques. For this, the biological phenomena such as response to cytokines and cell-cell/-extracellular matrix (ECM) interactions should be analyzed in various levels of genes, cells, tissues, and organs. Our researches focus on developing a method for control of cell differentiations using cadherins, and analyzing the mechanism of tissue formation. We are also generating transgenic avian species expressing a synapse tracer protein in order to analyze the mechanism of neural network formation.

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