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RIKEN Center for Biosystems Dynamics Research Laboratory for Organ Regeneration

Team Leader: Takashi Tsuji (Ph.D.)

Research Summary

Takashi  Tsuji(Ph.D.)

Organogenesis begins with the formation of patterned developmental fields during early embryogenesis, which provide environments appropriate for the induction of specific organs. Most organs emerge from primordia induced by interactions between epithelial and mesenchymal tissue and, following organ-specific morphological changes, develop into functional structures.

Our group is working to gain a more complete understanding of the roles of epithelial-mesenchymal interactions in organ induction, development, and morphogenesis. Using technologies developed in our group for the three dimensional (3D) control of epithelial stem cells and mesenchymal stem cells, we have generated regenerative primordia for teeth, hair follicles and endocrine tissue, such as salivary glands, and shown that these functionally integrate with surrounding tissue following transplantation into adult mice. By recapitulating organogenetic fields as seen in the early embryo to steer the self-organized formation of three-dimensional tissue-like structures from pluripotent stem cells, such as embryonic stem cells (ESCs) or induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), we seek both to elucidate the mechanisms by which such fields induce organogenesis and to develop new technologies for use in regenerative medicine. We are also interested in using 4D cell dynamics imaging techniques to quantitatively analyze organ-specific morphogenesis, and to analyze, model, and simulate molecular pathways involved in their control, in the hopes of gaining new insights into the fundamental principles underlying organogenetic processes. Building on these fundamental studies, we further seek to conduct applications research towards the development of technologies for use in therapeutic organ regeneration.

Main Research Fields

  • Biology

Related Research Fields

  • Complex Systems
  • Medicine, Dentistry & Pharmacy


  • Regenerative Therapy
  • Healthcare
  • Stem Cell Biology
  • Development of Medical Devices
  • Organ Regeneration

Selected Publications

  • 1.Takagi R, et al.:
    "Bioengineering a 3D integumentary organ system from iPS cells using an in vivo transplantation model."
    Sci. Adv. 1;2(4):e1500887 (2016)
  • 2.Ozone C, et al.:
    "Functional anterior pituitary generated in self-organizing culture of human embryonic stem cells."
    Nat Commun 7.10351 (2016)
  • 3.Ogawa M, et al.:
    "Functional salivary gland regeneration by transplantation of a bioengineered organ germ."
    Nat Commun 4.2498 (2013)
  • 4.Hirayama M, et al.:
    "Functional lacrimal gland regeneration by transplantation of a bioengineered organ germ."
    Nat Commun 4.2497 (2013)
  • 5.Toyoshima K. E, et al.:
    "Fully functional hair follicle regeneration through the rearrangement of stem cells and their niches."
    Nat Commun 3.784 (2012)
  • 6.Ikeda E, et al.:
    "Fully functional bioengineered tooth replacement as an organ replacement therapy."
    Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 106.13475-80 (2009)
  • 7.Nakao K, et al.:
    "The development of a bioengineered organ germ method."
    Nat Methods 4.227-30 (2007)

Recent Research Results

Related Links

Lab Members

Principal investigator

Takashi Tsuji
Team Leader

Core members

Chikako Morinaga
Research Scientist
Jun Ishikawa
Research Scientist
Makoto Takeo
Research Scientist
Etsuko Ikeda
Research Scientist
Nobuyuki Yajima
Research Scientist
Ayako Tsuchiya
Technical Staff I
Ikumi Konishi
Technical Staff I
Miki Takase
Technical Staff I
Yuko Tamai
Technical Staff I
Tomoyo Iga
Technical Staff I
Azusa Noma
Technical Staff II
Yukiko Morioka
Technical Staff II

Contact Information

6F, RIKEN BDR Developmental Biology Bldg.C,
2-2-3 Minatojima-minamimachi,
Chuo-ku, Kobe, Hyogo
650-0047 Japan
Email: t-tsuji [at] cdb.riken.jp