An approach to reduction of quality-of-life (QOL) due to locomotor system diseases and injuries: From the perspective of cells and organs

Looking to improve therapeutic effect by including new methodologies for treatment of locomotor system diseases and injuries

In this super-aging society of ours, locomotor system diseases or injuries such as ligament injuries or osteoarthritis and their resultant reductions in quality of life (QOL) have become major societal issues. Additionally, the prominence of sports also causes many locomotive injuries, which is another major problem. Since locomotive organs are meant to achieve smooth bodily movement in situations where a large “force” is applied, an approach based on mechanics and mechanical engineering, in addition to a medical perspective, is absolutely essential for treatment of these diseases and injuries. Therefore, there is a demand for achieving better therapies through new methodologies based on findings in not only clinical medicine and molecular biology but also medicine-engineering collaborative research such as biomechanics and regenerative medicine. With this background, at the Tokyo Metropolitan University Research Center for Medicine-Engineering Collaboration, we have formed a research team composed of professors from the fields of mechanical system research and health promotion science, and are moving forward in two areas of leading-edge research: nano/micro-level research on cellular functions and properties, and macro-level research on organs such as joints.

In our nano/micro-level research, we receive research support from the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Advanced Research Grant and others as we work to clarify basic mechanisms in cellular mechanical environmental controls and stem cell differentiation from the perspective of the mechanobiology research field, which clarifies the relationship between the mechanical environment and cellular function. Based on those findings, we take on the challenge of establishing regenerative medicine technology that creates complex living tissues, such as cartilage-bone junctions, a type of junction whose functionality and mechanical strength are seen as being difficult to sufficiently recreate or recover, in a culture environment.
In our macro-level research, we receive support from the Japanese Agency for Medical Research and Development (AMED), as we take on the challenge of creating and developing revolutionary medical technologies optimized for each patient’s surgical operations, which includes artificial joint surgery, and joint reconstruction. Additionally, with the goal of developing clinically useful medical technologies, this research center directs collaborative research between researchers involved in medical device companies and medical doctors and researchers in other universities directly related to joint surgical operations.


Department of Mechanical Systems Engineering

FUJIE Hiromichi