Former Professor Kazutomo Inoue moved from Department of Surgery, Kyoto University Hospital with his research group to this Department in 1998, shortly after the foundation of the Institute. He and his research group intensely studied innovative therapy for diabetes mellitus, such as islet transplantation, bio-artificial pancreas, pancreas regeneration and so on from the late 1980s. He directed head office as a chairperson of the Japanese Pancreas and Islet Transplantation Association (JPITA) and he held the First Meeting of Japanese Society for Regenerative Medicine (JSRM) in 2002. Shoichiro Sumi, as an associate professor, took over Professor Inoue’s job after his retirement in 2003.
The mission of our department is to study regenerative medicine for endocrine and metabolic diseases to develop novel therapeutic approaches. Among such diseases, our major target is Diabetes Mellitus (DM).
1. Bioartificial pancreas (BAP): BAP enables allo- or xeno-transplantation of islets or in vitro-processed islet-like cells without immunosuppression. Fig.1 shows the mechanism of BAP (islets or islet-like cells surrounded by semi-permeable membrane or gel).
3. Studies on neovascularization: We have developed an effective method to induce neovascularization at subcutaneous site for transplantation of islets or BAP. We are trying to develop specialized neovascularization method for subcutaneous transplantation of PVA-macroencapsulated islets.
4. Simulator of systemic glucose metabolism: The simulator that can predict glucose levels in a patient will be applicable to model-predicted control of mechanical artificial pancreas.
5. Others: We are planning new studies to apply PVA-macroencapsulation and/or cell fusion techniques for other types of cells including hepatocyte.