Kuraray (Headquarters: Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo; President: Yasuaki Wakui) has announced the development of basic technology for a microspace cell -culture chip. Fusing its technological expertise in the areas of polymeric materials, microprocessing, and biotechnology, Kuraray has produced a resin substrate that makes it possible to recreate the environmental conditions inside a living organism on the surface of the chip, and to stereoscopically regulate cell growth and differentiation, and direction and orientation, all of which are difficult to accomplish using existing plate culture technology.
This resin cell-culture chip has a minute three-dimensional microstructure (from a few micrometers to a few hundred micrometers) arrayed on its surface , and this microstructure regulates the three-dimensional growth and differentiation of cells seeded over the surface of the chip.
The shape and size of the three-dimensional microstructure can be customized for various types of cell and research applications, and this is expected to lead to significant breakthroughs in the fields of regenerative medicine and bioassay techniques. Specifically, it will contribute to the research into cell structure and evaluation of cell activation, for instance as a substitute for animal testing, in the development of pharmaceuticals, and research into tissue regeneration. To promote the use of this technology in more areas of research, Kuraray is developing cell-culture systems in addition to microchips.
Kuraray developed the basic technology for this chip jointly with the National Food Research Institute (Location: Tsukuba City, Ibaraki Prefecture; President: Toru Kodama), and several patents have been applied for, including some for applications. In addition, samples have been provided to a Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries nanotechnology-related research project being conducted by the National Food Research Institute and Hokkaido University.
The effectiveness of this chip has been demonstrated by the success of various research in which it has been used, including: