Cellular engineering

Our body is composed of 40 trillion cells, and senescence of the cells is thought to be a major cause of various age-related. We have succeeded in developing senolytic drugs that can treat diseases by selectively removing senescent cells, as well as in developing liposome nanocarriers that restores cellular functions by inducing mitophagy in the diseased cells (caused by cellular senescence) and eliminating damaged mitochondria.

Furthermore, mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), which are believed to be able to cure intractable diseases, and exosomes, which are secreted from these cells, are expected to show extremely high therapeutic efficacy. However, MSCs must be passively cultured in vitro before they can be used for therapy, and it is known that MSCs (as well as exosomes) senescence during this process. Our mitophagy-inducing nanocarrier, when administered to MSCs, removes the damaged mitochondria in the senescent MSCs, thereby restoring cell function and possibly rejuvenating the cells.