Young Faculty：Associate Professor Takamasa Sakai
Young Faculty / 017
Associate Professor Takamasa Sakai, Sakai/Chung Laboratory, Department of Bioengineering
2008 Ph.D (Engineering), Department of Materials Engineering,Graduate School of Engineering, University of Tokyo
2008-2009 Project Assistant Professor, Center of Nanobio Integration, University of Tokyo
2009-2011 Project Assistant Professor, Center of Medical System Innovation, University of Tokyo
2011- Assistant Professor, Department of Bioengineering, Graduate School of Engineering, University of Tokyo
2014- PRESTO, JST, Japan
2015- Associate Professor, Department of Bioengineering, Graduate School of Engineering, University of Tokyo
<About the Research>
Hydrogels are materials that have strongly related to human life. Because "hydro" means "water", and "gel" means a frozen thing of Latin, a hydrogel is defined as a solidified water. In other words, most of the characteristics of hydrogel are almost the same with those of water. Soft contact lenses and jelly are representative example of hydrogels, which contain 50% and 95% of water, respectively. Since our human body is also a hydrogel containing approximately 70% of water, hydrogel has drawn wide attention as a medical material. The range of its application is wide, such as scaffolds for regenerative medicine, drug-releasing carriers, artificial cartilage; currently these studies are performed all over the world.
One of our primary objectives is to understand hydrogels from the viewpoint of physics. The other is creating hydrogels, which are truly useful for medicine, based on the fundamentals. The hydrogel we develop can be injected directly into the body, treats the disease, then is dissociated and released outside the body. In other words, it is possible to treat diseases by merely injecting the gel into the body. Currently, we have obtained excellent results on several diseases in collaboration with medical doctors in ophthalmology, orthopedic surgery, plastic surgery, vascular surgery, gastroenterology departments.
We established a venture company to aim for medical treatment for better QOL with hydrogels. We will strive to deepen the fundamentals more than ever, and we will also focus on the social implementation of hydrogels.