Frontier Research Institute for Interdisciplinary Sciences
Tohoku University


Kenichi Funamoto

Kenichi Funamoto

Associate ProfessorDevice Technology

Research Fields Fluid Engineering, Bioengineering
Research Subjects
  • Microfluidic device mimicking in vivo microenvironment
  • Cellular responses to hypoxic exposure
  • Hemodynamic analysis by integration of measurement and computation
Academic Society Membership The Japan Society of Mechanical Engineers, The Japan Society of Ultrasonics in Medicine, The Society of Instrument and Control Engineers
Research Outline  

Recently, innovative diagnostic and treatment techniques have been proposed for various diseases, owing to medicine-engineering collaboration. However, physiological and pathological mechanisms underlying diseases remain to be revealed. The following processes are essential for investigation of an in vivo phenomenon: dividing it into fundamental independent biological factors; modeling it with analysis of the collected large-scale data; and reconstructing those factors to anatomy. Hence, our group aims to establish a new interdisciplinary field, named as "Biomechano-informatics," to contribute to improvement of health and welfare. We develop microfluidic devices which reproduce in vivo microenvironments by controlling oxygen tension and mechanical and chemical stimuli to cultured cells. In addition, behaviors of cells are analyzed to control them by using the devices. For instance, cancer microenvironment has spatial and temporal variations of oxygen tension due to hyperproliferation of cells and immature formation of microvasculature. The heterogeneity of oxygen tension has been pointed out as a cause of cancer growth and metastasis. In order to clarify the detailed mechanisms at a cellular level, we investigate individual behaviors of cancer cells and vascular endothelial cells and interactions between them, under controlled oxygen tension inside our microfluidic device.

A new interdisciplinary field "Biomechano-informatics"

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