Development of a Novel Tissue Reconstruction Technique and the Next Generation Biosensors

Teruo Okano (Professor, Tokyo Women's Medical University)

Research Area: Creation of Bio-Devices and Bio-Systems with Chemical and Biological Molecules for Medical Use (FY2001-2006)
Establishment of technology for cell sheet engineering for regenerative medicine
Rejection-free grafts have been realized. Soon to be applied in corneal transplants and possibly the treatment of heart failure.

Research Overview
The world’s first transplantable cell sheets have been successfully produced on surfaces of polymer whose structure changes with temperature and a thickness is approximately 20nm, representing an advance in tissue regeneration technology (cell sheet engineering). Thus, three-dimensional tissue construction has been achieved by actively controlling nanostructures (cellular nanodomains) such as cell adhesion structures observed in cells and reconstructed tissue.

Impact of Research Achievements
■ Making the cell sheet from the person himself for regenerative medicine has succeeded without using serum of animal origin.
■ The process of detaching cell sheets without damage to the structure of the cell membrane by temperature changes (from 37ºC to 20ºC) has been successfully analyzed. The sheets can be applied in regeneration medicine because they are rapidly detached without damaging the structure and functions of the cell membrane.
■ Platform technology for regeneration medicine targeting tissues such as skin, cardiac muscle, corneas, bladder, esophagus, lungs, blood vessels and liver has been successfully developed. Clinical application with the cornea and myocardium has commenced in Japan. Clinical testing with the cornea commenced in France for marketing authorization in 2011.
■ For example, a past number of fatalities due to ischemic heart disease was over 70 thousand just in Japan (2008). The number over the world will increase from over 7 million (2004) to just shy of 10 million (2030): Many patients with heart disease can possibly be helped.

Transplantation of an own-oral-mucosa cell sheet for ocular pemphigoid
Transplantation of an own-oral-mucosa cell sheet
for ocular pemphigoid
Cell sheet desorbed by temperature change only