2019 BMF Best Paper Award by an Emerging Author Announced

MELVILLE, N.Y., June 15, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Fusing differentiated cells with stem cells has been shown to perform this reprogramming successfully, but most methods lack the identity of original nucleus because of two nucleus-fusion. The journal Biomicrofluidics (BMF), a publication of AIP Publishing honors research that looks to provide a solution.

Japanese scientist Okanojo Masahiro has been selected by an expert panel of judges to receive this year's Biomicrofluidics Best Paper Award for demonstrating a technique of placing the nucleus of a normal cell of the body into a stem cell.

The BMF award is aimed at up-and-coming researchers in the field. Qualifying submissions are papers in which the first author is younger than 40 years old. For Masahiro, the work showcases the importance of integrating different research techniques toward achieving research goals, especially for younger researchers.

"I'm very grateful to the editorial board members of the Biomicrofluidics for honoring me with this prestigious award," he said. "I hope that this award will highlight the importance of integrating different techniques toward achieving a research goal, which certainly will have a positive impact on the research community, in particular young investigators."

"Our aspiration with Biomicrofluidics is to serve our research community and to disseminate cutting edge work in the field," said Leslie Yeo, Editor-in-chief of Biomicrofluidics. "The Best Paper Award was specifically established to support the junior researchers and upcoming talents within this community.

"We are particularly pleased with the high-quality science across the entire pool of papers and extend our congratulations to Masahiro for his achievement. We are indeed looking forward to seeing more cutting-edge work from his laboratory in days to come."

Although electrofusion is a traditional technique, Masahiro said integrating it with microfluidics has enabled them to develop a powerful technique and to produce innovative results in this research.

Combining a promising electrofusion technique with new series of microscopic slits and orifices, Masahiro and his colleagues have been able to fuse one type of differentiated human somatic cell into a stem cell.

"For a very long time, traditional cell fusion methods have been used to produce hybrid cells, but often, this yielded tetraploid cells, which contain more than two nuclei," he said.

Most animal cells are too small for using tools, such as micropipettes, to remove their contents. Instead, the researchers let pairs touch one another through an orifice measuring roughly 3 micrometers in diameter and applied an electric current to fuse the two membranes, allowing them to swap biomolecules. The microscale fluidic channels facilitated a pushing and pulling on the two cells, which provided a higher level of control than many of today's approaches.

Among many upcoming projects, Masahiro looks to help apply this approach to exploring how to prime the immune system against cancer as well as find ways to better match the cell cycles of both cells involved.

The article, "Nuclear transplantation between allogeneic cells through topological reconnection of plasma membrane in a microfluidic system," is authored by Masahiro Okanojo, Kennedy O. Okeyo, Hiroko Hanzawa, Osamu Kurosawa, Hidehiro Oana, Shizu Takeda, and Masao Washizu. The article appeared in Biomicrofluidics on June 10, 2019 (DOI: 10.1063/1.5098829) and can be accessed at https://aip.scitation.org/doi/10.1063/1.5098829.

Authors: Masahiro Okanojo, Kennedy O. Okeyo, Hiroko Hanzawa, Osamu Kurosawa, Hidehiro Oana, Shizu Takeda, and Masao Washizu
Author Affiliations: Hitachi, Ltd., The University of Tokyo, Kyoto University

rapidly disseminates research in fundamental physicochemical mechanisms associated with microfluidic and nanofluidic phenomena. The journal also publishes research in unique microfluidic and nanofluidic techniques for diagnostic, medical, biological, pharmaceutical, environmental, and chemical applications. See https://aip.scitation.org/journal/bmf

The purpose of the Biomicrofluidics Best Paper Award is to recognize significant contributions by emerging authors in microfluidics and nanofluidics. An expert panel of judges review submissions based on their scientific content and select a winner. The winner of the BMF Best Paper Award will receive a cash prize of $2,500. For questions about eligibility, the selection process or the award, send an email to bmf-journalmanager@aip.org.

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SOURCE AIP Publishing