Young Faculty：Associate Professor Yuya Morimoto
Young Faculty / 053
Associate Professor Yuya Morimoto, Department of Mechano-Informatics, Biohybrid System Lab.
March 2007: B.S., Department of Mechano-Informatics, Faculty of Engineering, The University of Tokyo
March 2009: M.S., Department of Mechano-Informatics, Graduate School of Information Science and Technology, The University of Tokyo
April 2009–March 2011: FUJIFILM Corporation
March 2014: Ph.D., Department of Mechano-Informatics, Graduate School of Information Science of Technology, The University of Tokyo
April 2014–March 2019: Research Associate, Institute of Industrial Science, The University of Tokyo
April 2019–Present: Associate Professor, Department of Mechano-Informatics, Graduate School of Information Science and Technology, The University of Tokyo
<About the Research>
Robots have been developed through the integration of mechanical, electrical, information processing and other engineering technologies. In contrast, living organisms consist of a combination of tissues and organs with various functions using cells as materials. These living tissues have unique functions that cannot be created by artificial materials, i.e., skeletal muscle tissues have unique functions such as high energy efficiency, quietness, and self-repair. Therefore, we are studying biohybrid systems, integrated systems of functional tissues and devices, to combine the advantages of biological materials with those of artificial ones.
We have focused on skeletal muscle tissue, the actuator of living organisms, and have succeeded in fabrication of contractile skeletal muscle tissue in vitro by processing aggregates of myoblasts using microfabrication technology. Furthermore, by antagonistically placing the skeletal muscle tissues on a plastic robot skeleton with a joint, mimicking the structure of flexor and extensor muscles in living organisms, we have achieved construction of a joint-driven biohybrid robot powered by skeletal muscle tissues.
The biohybrid system is expected to be applied not only to robots but also to the development of pharmaceuticals as a substitute for experimental animals and to the development of cultured meat in the case of skeletal muscle tissue. We will continue to integrate various technologies from different fields for further advancement of the biohybrid technology and aim for the industrialization of the biohybrid systems.
By integrating a variety of technologies without being bound by conventional frameworks, we will promote the research unique in the world and develop new research fields.