実臨床を想定したカニクイザルへの自家移植実験においても治療効果が確認できたため、現在First in Humanを目標に臨床化をすすめております。

 Microtia, characterized by a small, abnormally shaped auricle, is one of the most common external ear abnormalities, with an incidence of 1–10 per 10,000 births. Auto-transplantation of costal cartilage segments is one of the most popular treatments. However, this strategy has disadvantages, such as the lack of elasticity of costal cartilage, difficulty in harvesting costal cartilage, and post-operative pain at the donor site. To this end, a system for establishing morphologically stable elastic cartilage using a cell source that is easy to access is necessary. 

In our laboratory, we have shown the world’s first technology for separating and identifying cartilage precursor cells from the human auricular cartilage membrane with high purity. Using these cells, we have further succeeded in reconstructing the elastic tissue both in vitro and in vivo. Our major goal is to establish a non-invasive, novel promising treatment for patients with craniofacial cartilage deformity by transplanting this morphologically stable scaffold-free elastic cartilage structure.