sp

The Genesis of Nanoscale Bioimaging Infectious Disease Research.

To the next stage of infection control and preservation

Professor

Japanese

Profile
School / Faculty : School of Medical and Dental Sciences, Faculty of Dentistry
Job Title : Professor
Field of Specialization : Microbial Infectious Disease Medicine (MID)

Summary of Research

Today, there are several reported cases of large-scale in-hospital infections and patient deaths resulting from gsuper antibiotic-resistant bacteria,h against which all existing antibiotics have little or no effect. And so, we have made it our goal to outpace the rest of the world in establishing and promoting gNanoscale Bioimaging Infectious Disease Medicineh as a new field of scientific research that aims to devise new infection control and preservation methods to replace antibiotic-based treatment, based on the fundamental knowledge that we gain through infectious disease research carried out using next-generation optical instruments.

Bioimaging Infectious Disease Research

@Bioimaging Infectious Disease Research.

Distinctive Features of Research

For this research, we intend to combine infectious disease research with optical technology, a field in which Japan is a world leader, and information processing technology, which has seen enormous advancements in recent years. Therefore, we believe that this is research that can only be carried out in Japan and that there is a good possibility that we will succeed in outpacing the rest of the world in pioneering this new field of research right here in Japan. Thus, there will also be possibilities for promoting Japanese domestic industry, which has laid the foundation for the technology behind this research and its anticipated repertoire of applications.

Distinctive Features of Research

For this research, we intend to combine infectious disease research with optical technology, a field in which Japan is a world leader, and information processing technology, which has seen enormous advancements in recent years. Therefore, we believe that this is research that can only be carried out in Japan and that there is a good possibility that we will succeed in outpacing the rest of the world in pioneering this new field of research right here in Japan. Thus, there will also be possibilities for promoting Japanese domestic industry, which has laid the foundation for the technology behind this research and its anticipated repertoire of applications.

Prospects for Future Development

The goal of one of our research themes is to identify new molecules that activate immune system gneutrophil extracellular traps (NETs)h. If NETs do enhance peoplefs innate immunocompetence, they can be expected to display ample bactericidal effects and, unlike antibiotics, may also be able to combat even the microbial mutations and evolution behind super antibiotic-resistant bacteria. These images display the results of an experiments that were conducted on NETs. When a neutrophil, a type of immunocyte, detects an infectious microbe, it initiates NETosis cell death and extends arms built out of its own chromosomes.

sp
laboratory

The research staff of a new gMIDh laboratory.@@@@@@@ gNETsh immune system against super antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

These chromosomal arms are then bonded with endogenous antimicrobial peptides to form reticular networks called NETs. These NETs not only directly destroy infectious microbes; they also capture active microbes in their reticulated structures and pass them on to other phagocytes. Nonetheless, there are still many things that remain unclear in terms of the species of microbes that induce NETs and their molecular structures. We are working on identifying new molecular constituents that induce immune system NETs and charting future prospects for immunotherapy applications. In the several years since it was developed within the fields of chemistry and materials engineering, gDNA origami,h which is the technological basis behind another of our research themes, has been receiving a lot of interest and increasingly in-depth research for its potential applications as an industrial nanodevice. As a result, there have yet to be any reports, either in Japan or overseas, of that aims to discover applications for DNA origami in the fields of immunology and infectious disease medicine, meaning that our research is rich in both novelty and originality. If we succeed in demonstrating the adjuvant effects of gDNA origamih vaccines that have immunostimulatory CpG motifs designed with a form that is easier for the host to recognize, it will become possible to strengthen the effectiveness of a wide range of existing vaccines that are currently in use. We believe that this may consequently lead to a quantitative decrease in the number of vaccine injections necessary and also alleviate the concerns about adverse reactions that are now plaguing the practice of vaccinations in general. In verifying


the manufacturing precision of these gDNA origamih vaccines, it will also be essential to use the same ultra-high-resolution optical instruments that are mentioned above. In other words, the two major themes of this project are mutually interconnected and represent research that can only be carried out organically through this project. Therefore, in promoting the worldfs first and only gNanoscale Bioimaging Infectious Disease Research,h we are thinking in terms of this projectfs long-term prospects to become the genesis of a new field of scientific research.

mark

Schematic diagram of DNA origami-based vaccine adjuvant (left).
The designresembles the school badge of Niigata University (right).

sp

Division of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases Niigata University Graduate School of Medical and Dental Sciences. All rights reserved.