Endothelial cells (ECs) lining blood vessel walls respond to shear stress, a fluid mechanical force generated by flowing blood, and the EC responses play a important role in the homeostasis of the circulatory system. Abnormal EC responses to shear stress impair various vascular functions and lead to vascular diseases, including hypertension, thrombosis, and atherosclerosis. Bio-engineering approaches in which cultured ECs are subjected to shear stress in fluid-dynamically designed flow-loading devices have been widely used to analyze EC responses at the cellular and molecular levels. Remarkable progress has been made, and the results have shown that ECs alter their morphology, function, and gene expression in response to shear stress. Shear stress affects immature cells as well as mature ECs, and it promotes differentiation of bone-marrow-derived endothelial progenitor cells and embryonic stem cells into ECs. Much research has been done on shear stress sensing and signal transduction, and their molecular mechanisms are gradually coming to be understood. However, much remains uncertain, and many candidates have been proposed for shear stress sensors. More extensive studies of vascular mechanobiology should increase our understanding of the molecular basis of the blood-flow-mediated control of vascular functions.
1996-2000 Department of Biomedical Engineering, Graduate School of Medicine, The University of Tokyo (M.D.)
1993-1996 Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Graduate School of Engineering, Yamagata University (Dr. of Eng.)
1987-1989 Department of Applied Chemistry, Graduate School of Science and Engineering, Waseda University (M.E.)
1983-1987 Department of Applied Chemistry, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Waseda University
2003-Current Lecturer: Department of Biomedical Engineering, Graduate School of Medicine, The University of Tokyo
2006-2010 Research Fellow: PRESTO, Japan Science and Technology Agency
2000-2003 Assistant Professor: Department of Biomedical Engineering Graduate School of Medicine, The University of Tokyo
1997-2000 Research Fellow: Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS)
1989-1992 Chemist: Central Research Center, Du Pont Japan, Ltd.