Catalyst Awardee

Project Description

Novel development of pain evaluation devices and nerve regeneration tools using nerve organoids derived from human iPS cells


SHIBATA Shinsuke, MD, PhD  | Niigata University, Graduate School of Medical and Dental Sciences, Division of Microscopic Anatomy;  HAYATSU Manabu; KIMURA Hiroo; KAWADA Jiro; OKUYAMA Kentaro
Competition Sponsor: Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development
Awardee Year: 2022

To achieve healthy longevity in the aging society that the world is now facing, it is of utmost importance to maintain higher quality of life until the end of life. By utilizing our technology of patented special culture system development and the technology of human nerve organoids derived from iPS cells, a life with abundant quality of life without any pain for whole lifetime and enhanced regeneration of neural circuit can be achieved by our active collaboration between medical and engineering specialists. We seek to establish a novel system that can unbiasedly quantify and visualize “pain” in vitro by using human iPS-derived sensory neurons. No one was achieved yet, because “pain” evaluation was always relied on human subjective sensations, or on experimental animals. By applying it to drug discovery screening, our new system has the potential to contribute to the discovery of analgesics that surpass morphine. We are also working on the development of safe artificial nerves that promote nerve regeneration by using the axonal bundles originated from human iPS derived nerve organoids, in which cell bodies and axon bundles are separately cultured with the special patented culture devices. It is suggested that our new artificial nerve leads to the novel nerve regeneration technology that tends to promote the recovery of motor function rather than pain. We believe that if our development is completed, it will be key innovative technologies that lead to happy healthy longevity.


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