Biotechnology Research Institute for Drug Discovery
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Drug Assay Device Research Group

Drug Assay Device Research Group is developing new technologies to assay chemicals including pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and agrichemicals with human living cells and aiming to apply the technologies to drug screening and personalized medicine. The group is looking at the precise regulation of cell culture environment utilizing micro process to derive the organ-specific function from human cells cultured in the process. Furthermore, the group is now focusing on the organs-on-a-chip (OOC), which is composed of several micro organs in a micro process. The group is expecting that a part of ADMET (absorption, distribution, metabolism, excretion, toxicity: a set of test categories required in drug discovery) can be simulated with the OOC. As a next generation assay technology, the group researches utilization of membrane proteins as well.

Group's Research Theme

12 drugs * 8 concentrations * 4 = 284 assays can be simultaneously performed on the microchip (upper) and IC50 of paclitaxel obtained with the chip (lower).
12 drugs × 8 concentrations × 4 = 284 assays
can be simultaneously performed on the
microchip (upper) and IC50 of paclitaxel
obtained with the chip (lower).
Sugiura S., et al.: Anal.Chem., 82, 8278 (2010)

Cell-based Assay

In vivo-like functions are derived from cultured human cells in a micro process with microfluidics, by which the cell culture environment is precisely controlled. Several micro organs with organ-specific functions is formed in a micro process. The interaction between multiple organs, and eventually ADMET, can be examined with the network of the micro organs in the micro process. The final goal of this project is to establish a standard assay protocell utilizing standard cells derived from hiPS and cell lines. The technologies can be applied to determine the treatment optimized for each patient.

Preparation of same-size clumps (upper), Separation of 3D-cultured tumor cells (lower)

Cell Manipulation with Light Irradiation

We are developing cell culture substrate with photoresponsible materials and cell manipulation technology utilizing the substrate. Cells are cultured on the substrate and the cells irradiated with light are selectively killed or removed from the substrate. In addition, the technology enables preparation of same-size colonies and 2D-patterned culture with deferent types of cells. Furthermore, a cell cultured in photodegradable hydrogel can be recovered by light irradiation.
These technologies will be applied to the micro process.

R&D of Functional Membrane Protein/Artificial Lipid Complexes as Drug Discovery Tools
 

R&D of Functional Membrane Protein/Artificial Lipid Complexes as Drug Discovery Tools

We focus on R&D of functional membrane protein/artificial lipid complexes as drug discovery tools, e.g., handling tools for functional membrane proteins, biosensors for protein-ligand binding assays, etc., by designing stable artificial lipids (archaeal lipid analogs, fluorinated lipids, etc.), building up the functional membrane protein/artificial lipid complexes, and evaluating their physicochemical properties and/or functional performances.

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Research Achievements

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Staff Members

Photo Position & Name Email Address
Kanamori Toshiyuki
Group Leader
Toshiyuki KANAMORI
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Sumaru Kimio
Chief Senior Researcher
Kimio SUMARU
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Sugiura Shinji
Chief Senior Researcher
Shinji SUGIURA
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Baba Teruhiko
Senior Researcher
Teruhiko BABA
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Takagi Toshiyuki
Senior Researcher
Toshiyuki TAKAGI
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Postdoctoral Researcher
Shinya YAMAHIRA
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Technical Staff
Taku SATOH
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Morishita Kana
Technical Staff
Kana MORISHITA
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Shin Kazumi
Technical Staff
Kazumi SHIN
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Technical Staff
Reiko NAGASAKI
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Technical Staff
Hiroko TOYODA
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