Activity Report

Activity Report of Open Application Course vol.1

Nanomedicine for earlier detection and diagnosis of cancer
(Diagnostic Onco-Pathology)

Report from Saitama University

During the period July 8 ~ July 14, 2019 medical students from the National University of Colombia, Javeriana University, ICESI University, El Bosque University and University of La Sabana were invited in Saitama University through Sakura Exchange Program in Science (photo 1). All of them have special interest about oncology, cancer detection and pathology. The designed summer program at Saitama University was to introduce them in the latest high tech achievements in nanomedicine and modern nanobiotechnology for early detection, analysis and treatment of wide range malignant tumors. With the aid of new generation smart nanomaterials, artificial nanomachines and nanorobotics, in combining with advanced optical devices they could quantify multiple specific biomarkers in the individual tumor tissues or isolated metastatic cancer cells. The so called nano-approach improves significantly the current clinical and histopathological methods for diagnosis of various types’ cancers.

First day of the Colombian delegation at Saitama University
with Prof. Dr. Alexandre Loukanov.

At the welcome ceremony, the students were greeted by the Vice President Prof. Seiichiro Nakabayashi and Prof. Makoto Nagasawa at Saitama University. After that the students and faculty members were invited for a group photo at the campus. The medical students were introduced in the laboratory facilities and the infrastructure of Saitama University as well as the huge library.

Group photo of the guest Colombian delegation and the faculty staff
of Saitama University, involved in the summer Sakura program.

It was demonstrated unique techniques with optical and atomic force microscopes and apparatus for study and diagnosis of single cells. Prof. Ryuzo Kawamura presented molecular approaches to reveal inside mechanics of cancer cells with aim to investigate their motion and analyze the risk for metastases. Prof. Naritaka Kobayashi demonstrated atomic-scale processes on cancer cell membrane by visualization through frequency modulation atomic force microscopy. By this innovative approach the students realized how powerful is the biological atomic force microscope for cancer research and onco-pathology. Prof. Hiroshi Yoshikawa presented an investigation about the cell softening and their relationship with the malignant progression of human lung cancer cells. Finally, Prof. Alexandre Loukanov presented the future potential of artificial nanomachines and nanorobots for development of powerful and precise anticancer medication in the precise personal nanomedicine. After the lectures, the medical students were particularly interested about the current use of nanoparticles and nanotechnology in the modern medical practices (photo 3). One of the most discussed topics was the novel nano contrast agents for MRI that enable earlier and accurate detection of cancer in the patients. It was discussed also the possibilities for future collaboration between Saitama University and various medical institutions in Colombia in the field of medical nanotechnology and nanomedicine. Lectures were given also by Prof. Masami Suganuma (continual monitoring of cancer patient treatment. Biophysical approach to mechanisms of cancer prevention and treatment with green tea catechins), Prof. Sachiko Tsuda (optical imaging of the activity and migration of cell populations in zebrafish) and Dr. Takahisa Matsuzaki (quantifying cell adhesion toward understanding mechanism of biological phenomena).

Discussion between the visitors and Prof. Alexandre Loukanov about future collaboration
between Saitama University and medical institutions in Colombia.

During the summer course the delegation had a nice chance to visit Miraikan museum at Odaiba, Tokyo. The medical students were highly impressed by the advanced technological progress in Japan in the life sciences, and space engineering.

Visit of Miraikan museum at Odaiba, Tokyo with Prof. Alexandre Loukanov.

In the last day of the summer course, all students gave impressive oral presentations related to their expertise and knowledge they learned in Saitama University during Sakura program. They were awarded with certificates. The summer program ended with a sushi party.