Professor Takehiko Ogawa, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Yokohama City University, Professor Shosuke Yao, Graduate School of Medicine, and Dr. Nobu Kometani, a graduate student, have cultivated mouse testis tissue with a microfluidic device and sperm for more than XNUMX months. Succeeded in maintaining formation.This is expected to have a ripple effect on the elucidation of the pathophysiology of male infertility, the development of treatment methods, and the fields of regenerative medicine and drug discovery.This result is a result of joint research with Professor Teruo Fujii of the Institute of Industrial Science, University of Tokyo, Associate Professor Keishi Kimura of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Tokai University, and Junro Ogura, Director of the Genetic Engineering Fundamental Technology Office, RIKEN BioResource Center.

 In 2011, Professor Ogawa et al. Succeeded for the first time in the world in in vitro (incubator) spermatogenesis using mice by the gas phase liquid phase boundary culture method.However, this spermatogenesis was less efficient than in vivo and disappeared in about two months.Since this method supplies substances from the outer periphery of the tissue, the problem was that in vivo phenomena such as malnutrition in the central part of the cultured tissue were not reproduced.Therefore, this time, using a microfluidic system that applies semiconductor manufacturing technology, the substance supply in the living body is simulated, a fine circuit is created in the device, and the culture solution is flowed. By separating with, the blood flow environment in the living body was reproduced.When the testes of newborn mice within about 2 days after birth were cultured with this device, spermatogenesis was confirmed in the entire testis tissue, spermatogenesis was observed for 2 months or more, and healthy offspring were also obtained by intracytoplasmic sperm injection. rice field.Furthermore, the ability to produce androgen was maintained at 6 months of culture.

 There is no study that has been able to maintain the structure and function of tissues in vitro for a long period of more than half a year like this time.The results of the microfluidic device developed this time will promote future spermatogenesis research, and will have a ripple effect on the fields of regenerative medicine and drug discovery, such as spermatogenesis research of other animal species including humans and application to tissue culture other than testis. The effect is also expected.

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