About the Research
Elucidation of stem cell niche and its application to the development of synthetic biomaterials that control the function of pluripotent stem cells
Recent progress in the regenerative medicine has enabled to induce rapid expansion of various stem cells including ES/iPS cells, their differentiation into specific lineages, and formation of the complex organ-like structure (organoid) from pluripotent stem cells. In regenerative medicine research, cell culture substrates play a critical role as scaffolds that locally supports stem cell survival, proliferation and differentiation. As materials to control stem cell functions, we are focusing on chemically synthesized biomaterials, especially synthetic hydrogel. Synthetic hydrogel is a polymer containing a large amount of water molecules in its network structure, and has characteristics similar to biological tissues. In addition, physical properties of synthetic hydrogel (e.g. composition, stiffness, electric charge, etc.) can be easily and strictly controlled, which enables systematic investigation on how physical properties of the extracellular environment affect stem cell function. Taking advantage of these characteristics of synthetic hydrogels, our current research aims to elucidate physical properties of the stem cell niche that controls the functions of pluripotent stem cells and thereby develop innovative biomaterials that can control the specific function of stem cells.
Representative Research Achievements
- The nucleosome remodeling and deacetylase complex protein CHD4 regulates neural differentiation of mouse embryonic stem cells by down-regulating p53.
Akira Hirota, May Nakajima-Koyama, Yuhei Ashida, Eisuke Nishida, J. Biol. Chem., 2019, 294, 195-209
- Activin A in combination with ERK1/2 MAPK pathway inhibition sustains propagation of mouse embryonic stem cells
Yuhei Ashida, May Nakajima-Koyama, Akira Hirota, Takuya Yamamoto, and Eisuke Nishida, Genes Cells, 2017, 22, 189-202