Tetsuya Hiraiwa

Faculty of Science, The University of TokyoAssistant Professor*Profile is at the time of the award.

2018Inamori Research GrantsScience & Engineering

Research topics
Development and verification of the mathematical model realizing active morphogenesis of an epithelial tissue
Morphogenesis of several animals starts with a single cell stage, and their complex and wide variety of shapes are achieved by dynamical processes of cells, such as proliferation, deformation and migration. This process is achieved by relying on basically their internal activities while maintaining the function as a living thing at all times. There is still a lot left to be uncovered as to what kind of mechanics is underlying such morphogenetic process of living systems.
What I am investigating in this project, along this line, is the mechanics behind the movement of epithelial tissues, by proposing, examining and developing its mathematical model. The body of a multicellular organism is covered with the layer(s) of column-shaped cells called epithelial cells. Spontaneous movement of the sheet structure of epithelial cells is known to play key roles in various processes for morphogenesis. The movement of an epithelial tissue can be described by Vertex Modeling, a polygonal representation of the layer(s) of densely packed epithelial cells. Based on this approach, we established a mathematical model for the spontaneous unidirectional movement of an epithelial cell sheet, relying on chirality (left-right asymmetry) of cells to achieve such movement. I am currently engaged in expansive researches around this mathematical model.

Message from recipient

I feel honored and privileged to have my research selected for the Inamori Research Grants Program. I am hoping to delve deeper into my research to successively illustrate the mechanics behind how organisms are shaped and how various functions express themselves.

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Science & Engineering