A project run by the research group of School of Engineering, Department of Mechanical Engineering Associate Professor Hiroshi Kimura (Micro/Nano Technology Center, Tokai University) called “Building a Model for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) with Physiological Neuromuscular Junction” was recently selected as a Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development (AMED) Translational Research Strategic Promotion Program Multidisciplinary Research Development Support Project. The goal of the program is to promote the creation of innovative medicines, medical devices, and other medical-related items by constructing a system to effectively translate promising basic research results into clinical research and practical application. This particular project is implemented by the Metropolitan Academic Research Consortium (MARC), which is composed of clinical research institutions, particularly at private universities, in the metropolitan Tokyo area. The initiative is aimed at the development of innovative medicines and medical devices in Japan, focusing on projects by researchers at universities with a medical school who do not themselves belong to the medical faculty.
Associate Professor Kimura is working to develop a microfluidic device which artificially imitates nerve tissues and the functions of various organs, such as the kidney and liver. Utilizing this technology, Kimura is conducting joint research with School of Medicine Professor Shinji Hadano and Assistant Professor Asako Otomo to explain the mechanisms behind ALS. Through the project chosen by AMED, they hope to further develop their research.