Frontier Research Institute for Interdisciplinary Sciences
Tohoku University

Research Projects

Creative Interdisciplinary Collaboration Program 2020

Assist. Prof. Joji Kusuyama

Title Outer membrane engineering of E.coli cells towards bio-nanofactory
Priod 2021-2022

Cells form tissue structures by adhering to extracellular matrix. Each organ has a "stiffness" which determined by hardness of the cells and the extracellular matrix, The appropriate stiffness of tissues is essential for cellular function, and its disturbance causes various diseases. Adipose tissue has dynamic stiffness which affected by the changes of size and softness due to the accumulation of lipid droplets. On the other hand, adipose tissue hardens due to fibrosis caused by excessive nutrition. Since the structure of adipose tissue changes in response to nutrition and exercise, the function of adipose tissue is easily correlated with dynamic changes in stiffness. Previous studies measured the stiffness of adipose tissue after dissection; however, this method inevitably results in a deviation from the original stiffness in vivo due to the changes of intratissue pressure and lost connection of connective tissues. If we can accurately measure the stiffness of adipose tissue in vivo, it will be possible to establish a technique for accurate mimicking in vivo stiffness at culture condition. Moreover, this technique will evaluate the relationship between tissue stiffness and physiological functions in animal models and human. In this study, we aim to establish a series of analysis flows to capture dynamic changes of stiffness in mouse adipose tissue by ultrasound elastography and mimic in vivo condition in vitro environment through the collaboration among the fields of metabolic physiology, medical engineering, and cell biology. Furthermore, we try to establish new techniques for medical treatments by evaluating the stiffness of organs and guiding them to an appropriate stiffness.