Research center for medicine-engineering collaboration
Achieving a high-QOL society by combining nanoengineering and biomechanics through joint medicine and engineering activities
Professor Hiromichi FUJIE,
Intelligent Mechanical Systems,
Graduate School of
Thanks to improvements in scientific technology and healthcare, Japan leads the world in life expectancy. Coupled with the rise in interest in athletic participation, this has led to a steady increase in physical degenerative conditions and injuries in the general population. To give one example, reports indicate that more than 30% of the population suffers from osteoarthrosis; a joint disorder. Improving the quality of degenerative care and injury tissue repair is an urgent issue in efforts to maintain and improve the QOL of these individuals.
To date, research in conventional medicine and fundamental research in related fields have remained within the purview of biology. However recent years have confirmed the importance of a mechanical approach in addition to this biological approach.
In living organisms, when subjected to mechanical stress or stimulation associated with biological motion, cells inside micro and nano level structures attempt to alter and optimize biological structures to suit the environment.
Observed from a mechanical viewpoint, our understanding of adaptive phenomena such as changes in the width of blood vessels to control blood flow and bones that grow stronger due to exercise can be applied to medical techniques used to treat biological tissue.
In practice, applying this knowledge to medical techniques requires a research organization capable of combining nanoengineering to create nano and micro level artificial biological structures with cellular biomechanics and mechanobiology to investigate the mechanical response of cells and biomolecules.
While a handful of such research organizations exist, none have close ties to the medical field and are in position to feedback research results for application to clinical medicine.