【English】AJIOKA Group

【English】AJIOKA Group

Research Interests

Our laboratory is focusing on injured brain regeneration from the view of biology (developmental neurobiology) and bioengineering (biomaterial engineering).

Although our brain do not regenerate after injury by self-healing, recent advances in neurobiology uncovered the potency of brain regeneration. For example, we found and reported the proliferation potency of neurons (Ajioka et al., Cell 2007; Oshikawa et al., Development 2013; Oshikawa et al., Development 2017).

How can we bring out the regenerative potential in injured brain? We tried to understand the regeneration potency of injured brain by the approach of “science”, which reflects building and organizing knowledge of something that does exist. In contrast to “science", “engineering” reflects a creative application for the development of something that does not exist. Thus, “engineering” approach could be important to bring out the regenerative potential in injured brain. For example, we developed artificial scaffolds and reported the technique to proliferate neurons in a 3D manner (Ajioka et al., Biomaterials 2011), the technique to align neurons in the injured brain region (Ajioka et al., Tissue Eng Part A 2015; Jinnou et al., Cell Stem Cell 2018), the technique to promote angiogenesis in the ischemic brain (Oshikawa et al., Adv Healthc Mater 2017; Yaguchi et al., Nature Commun 2021), and the technique of near‐infrared optogenetic genome engineering by photon‐upconversion (Sasaki et al., Angew Chem Int Ed 2019).


Associate Professor:Itsuki Ajioka (iajioka.cbir(at)tmd.ac.jp )
Postdoctoral Fellow:Chikako Hara
Research Assistant:Saori Akimoto

Selected publications

【Biomaterial Engineering】

Yaguchi A#, Oshikawa M#, Watanabe G, Hiramatsu H, Uchida N, Hara C, Kaneko N, Sawamoto K, Muraoka T*, Ajioka I* (*co-corresponding author)
Efficient protein incorporation and release by a jigsaw-shaped self-assembling peptide hydrogel for injured brain regeneration
Nature Commun. 12, 6623, 2021

Sasaki Y, Oshikawa M, Bharmoria P, Kouno H, Hayashi-Takagi A, Sato M, Ajioka I*, Yanai N*, Kimizuka N*. (*co-corresponding author)
Near-Infrared Optogenetic Genome Engineering Based on Photon-Upconversion Hydrogels
Angew Chem Int Ed Engl. 58, 17827-17833, 2019

Oshikawa M, Okada K, Kaneko N, Sawamoto K, and Ajioka I# (# corresponding author)
Affinity-Immobilization of VEGF on Laminin Porous Sponge Enhances Angiogenesis in the Ischemic Brain
Adv Healthc Mater, 1700183, 2017

Ajioka I*, Ichinose S, Nakajima K, Mizusawa H. (*corresponding author)
Basement membrane-like matrix sponge for the three-dimensional proliferation culture of differentiated retinal horizontal interneurons.
Biomaterials 32:5765-5772, 2011.

【Developmental Neurobiology】

Mio Oshikawa, Kei Okada, Hidenori Tabata, Koh-ichi Nagata, and Itsuki Ajioka* (*corresponding author)
“Dnmt1-dependent Chk1 pathway suppression is protective against neuron division”
Development 144, 3303-3314, 2017

Aldiri I#, Ajioka I#, Xu B, Zhang J, Chen X, Benavente C, Finkelstein D, Johnson D, Akiyama J, Pennacchio LA, and Dyer MA (#co-first author)
“Brg1 coordinates multiple processes during retinogenesis and is a tumor suppressor in retinoblastoma”
Development 142, 4092-4106, 2015.

Oshikawa M, Okada K, Nakajima K, Ajioka I* (*corresponding author)
Cortical excitatory neurons become protected from cell division during neurogenesis in an Rb family-dependent manner
Development 140:2310-2320, 2013.

Ajioka I, Martins R, Bayazitov IT, Donovan S, Johnson D, Frase S, Cicero S, Boyd K, Zakharenko SS, Dyer MA.
Differentiated horizontal interneurons clonally expand to form metastatic retinoblastoma in mice
Cell 131:378-390, 2007.


Ajioka I* (*corresponding author) (review)
“Biomaterial-engineering and neurobiological approaches for regenerating the injured cerebral cortex"
Regenerative Therapy 3, 63-67, 2016.

Ajioka I* (*corresponding author) (review)
Coordination of proliferation and neuronal differentiation by the retinoblastoma protein family
Dev Growth Differ 56:324-334, 2014.


Center for Brain Integration Research
Tokyo Medical and Dental University
1-5-45 Yushima, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8510, Japan