Special Issue on System Cell Engineering by Multiscale Manipulation
Toshio Fukuda and Kenji Inoue
Recent advancements in micro/nano robotics and mechatronics technology have contributed to the discovery of new scientific knowledge in bioscience and the development of new treatments and examinations in medical fields. To promote interdisciplinary research among the engineering, biological, and medical fields and to promote further progress in these fields, Scientific Research on Priority Areas, “System Cell Engineering by Multiscale Manipulation (Head Investigator: Toshio Fukuda),” was begun in 2005. In this research area, we study system cell engineering seeking an understanding of communication and control principles of bare and integration functions of cells. We focus on manipulation technology for work from nano- to macro-scale, i.e., multiscale manipulation. By controlling the local environment around a single cell, we actively induce chemical and physical interaction inside and outside the cell and measure changes. We then work to clarify the mechanism behind the cell system and to realize an artificial cell model based on gene expression control and regenerate tissue by function control. Using innovative engineering technology, we obtain new scientific knowledge in the life sciences and develop medical engineering, ultimately contributing to the good of society. This special issue presents 2 reviews and 13 papers on the latest achievements in this research area. The reviews introduce challenging work in medical and biological fields, presenting suggestions on robotics and mechatronics engineers. Eight of the papers propose novel sensors, actuators, and other devices useful in bioscience and cell engineering. Two papers present methods of manipulating micro/nano-scale objects based on laser manipulation, and 2 concern the teleoperations of micro-hands and micro-manipulators for micromanipulation. The final paper discusses the interaction between living neuronal networks and the outer world. We thank the authors for their invaluable contributions to this issue and the reviewers for their precious time and effort. We also thank the Editorial Board of JRM for making this issue possible.
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