Research Themes

Research Activities and Subjects in Each Department

Department of Oral Health Science

Div. of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases

Molecular analysis of virulence mechanisms in pneumococcal pneumonia
Reportedly, severe pneumococcal pneumonia causes lung injury. In this regard, we strive to discover new therapeutic targets, such as host-derived enzymes, for controlling pneumococcal infections. Furthermore, we study the exploratory research to identify new protein targets for pneumococcal vaccine, end the host enzyme-targeted research for treatment of pneumococcal infections.

Div. of Biomimetics

Area of Tissue Engineering and Regeneration
  • Investigation of an oral keratinocyte progenitor/stem cell subpopulation by quantitative measurement of cell mobility(Figures)
  • Application of fish collagen as a scaffold for oral mucosa regeneration
  • Development of a 3D in vitro model to elucidate histological changes of oral mucosa by
    • ‐Metal allergy
    • ‐Bisphosphonates
    • ‐Denture wearing
Area of Dental Material Science
  • Investigation of adhesive properties of PEEK
  • Analysis of polishing properties of fiber-reinforced PEEK (polyetheretherketone)
  • Effects of different sterilization methods on titanium surface of dental devices

Image showing the same two colonies tracked for another 48 hours. This image indicated that the proliferative potential of the colony enclosed in red was much higher than that of the other colony. Thus, the proliferative potential, indicative of an oral keratinocyte progenitor/stem cell subpopulation, could be correlated with cell mobility.

Div. of Preventive Dentistry

  • Identification of predictors for dental caries and root caries,and the reconstruction of clinical preventive programs by the risk level
  • Dento-sociological studies on the extensive use of fluoride for dental caries prevention
  • Identification of the risk factors of periodontal diseases and attempt to construct disease models in population level
  • Epidemiological study of malocclusion assessed according to social acceptability
  • How can oral health conditions contribute to general health protection and promotion in older age groups
  • Development of community based oral health programs and systems
  • Development of oral malodor screening method and clinical approach to oral malodor patients

Div. of Cariology Operative Dentistry and Endodontics

  • Development of strategies to control oral biofilms
  • Relationship between oral biofilm bacteria and systemic health
  • Development, repair and regeneration of the dentin/pulp complex
  • Research on the new mechanism to promote pulp wound healing
  • Experimental pathological study of pulpal and apical periodontal diseases
  • Development of new treatment methods and drugs on refractory periapical periodontal disease
  • Physical property and biocompatibility of endodontic materials
  • Proposal of the new etiology and strategy on the root caries
  • Development and application of simulation systems in dental education

Div. of Pediatric Dentistry

  • The efficient generation of iPS cells derived from the oral tissue
  • Development of food intake and masticatory function in children
  • Clinical research on lip-closing strength in children
  • Research on the dynamics of dental pulp stem cells during pulpal healing after tooth injuries
  • Research on the toxins secreted by Group A Streptococcus (bactria which causes pharyngitis of children)

Div. of Bio-Prosthodontics

  • Clinical studies of crown and bridge restorations
  • Investigation on biological aspects of Prosthodontics
  • Basic and clinical studies of dental implants
  • Studies of metal allergy

Div. of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery

  • Development of individualized treatment system using precise molecular biomarkers of the oral cancer
  • Clinical application of cell based gnathic bone regeneration using the autogenous cultured periosteal cell
  • Clinical study of velopharyngeal insufficiency function and maxillary development in patient with cleft lip and/or palate under consistent multidisciplinary strategy with two-stage palatoplasty using Hotz plate
  • Genetic study related to mechanism of cleft lip and/or palate development
  • Research on the mechanism and treatments of the temporomandibular joint disorder and luxation
  • Studies on the central neural mechanisms for chronic pain in the maxillofacial structures
  • Clinical research on oral care program for the compromised patient before medical approaches
  • Pharmacokinetic study of anti-HIV agents using saliva as an alternative body fluid

Div. of Dental Educational Research Development

  • Research on clinical educational program for undergraduate students and post-graduate clinical trainees
  • Quantitative analysis of Dental practical technique

Department of Oral Biological Science

Div. of Oral Anatomy

  • Research on molecular mechanisms in regulating senescence
  • Research on enamel formation
  • Research on stem cell aging
  • Developmental study of temporomandidular joint
  • Research on the molecular mechanisms of tongue development
  • Research on the molecular function of microRNA in craniofacial development
  • Research on the role of NF-kB signalling in ectodermal organ development
  • Study of the molecular mechanism on tooth morphogenesis using gene-knock out mice
  • Research on the molecular mechanisms of palate/lip development
  • Research on the molecular function of the primary cilia in craniofacial development
  • Research on the molecular mechanisms of rodent palatal rugae patterning
  • Research on the molecular mechanisms of processing speed in organogenesis

Div. of Oral Physiology

  • Neural mechanisms of swallow initiation
  • Sensory processing during mastication and swallowing
  • Development of physiological assessment methods for swallowing function
  • Effects of psychological stress on trigeminal pain processing
  • Effects of neural changes for descending pain controls on nociception
  • Roles of Japanese Rice Wine on stress-induced pain reaction

Div. of Oral Biochemistry

  • Molecular mechanisms of appetite regulation and obesity
  • Roles of neurotransmitter receptors in oral cancer
  • Molecular and cellular mechanisms regulating brain homeostasis
  • Neural mechanisms of salivary gland fluid secretion
  • Mechanisms of cellular targeting of parathyroid hormonerelated protein

Div. of Periodontology

  • Immunological and genetic studies of the onset and progression of periodontal diseases
  • Studies to develop examinations for periodontal disease activity and susceptibility using clinical specimens (gingival tissues, gingival crevicular fluid, blood)
  • Comprehensive research on regeneration and reconstruction of periodontal tissues (Growth factor, GTR, Bone graft, PRP, Enamel matrix protein)in clinical and laboratory study
  • Comprehensive research on implant, and laser in clinical and laboratory study
  • Studies of clinical association between periodontal disease and systemic disease and basic research on molecular mechanisms linking the diseases

Div. of Orthodontics

  • Structural and functional improvement for orthognathic patients after surgical orthodontic treatment
  • Morphological and functional analysis of establishment mechanism of facial asymmetry
  • Developmental research on cleft lip and or palate
  • Developmental changes in dental occlusion for patients with cleft lip and/or palate
  • Periodontal and/or pulpal alterations associated with orthodontic treatment
  • Development of three-dimensional analyzing system for study casts evaluation
  • Relationship between malocclusion and tongue behaviors during swallowing
  • Long-term stability after orthodontic treatment
  • Effect of chemical agents on acceleration of orthodontic tooth movement
  • Relation between obstructive sleep apnea and dentofacial morphology

Div. of Dysphagia Rehabilitation

  • Physiological and morphological studies on the feeding mechanism
  • Neurophysiological studies on the neuronal network involved in the masticatory and swallowing functions
  • Establishment of assessment and rehabilitation approaches for dysphagia
  • Education of clinicians involved in dysphagia rehabilitation
  • Food engineering for elderly and dysphagic patients
  • Clinical studies on age related changes in orofacial organs
  • Epidemiological and therapeutic studies on xerostomia
  • Enzymological and morphological studies on the causes of taste disorder

Department of Tissue Regeneration and Reconstruction

Div. of Anatomy and Cell Biology of the Hard Tissue

Our division aims to clarify the mechanisms regulating the formation, development, maintenace, and regeneration of hard tissues such as teeth and bones and investigates/educates the structure and function of hard tissues at the macroscopic and tissue/cellualr levels as well as in the view point of developmental biology. The concrete research projects are as follows.

  • Mechanisms regulating tooth and cranio-maxillofacial morphogenesis
  • Development and regeneration of dentin-pulp complex
  • Risk factors for complications during dental implant surgery and osseointegration

Div. of Oral Pathology

  • Molecular regulation in proliferation, invasion, and metastasis of oral cancer cells
  • Hypoxia-mediated cell growth and tissue architecture in salivary gland tumor cells
  • Pathophysiological functions induced by cell death of oral squamous cell carcinoma cells
  • Varieties of cell death via cell competition between oral cancer cells and non-cancer cells
  • Molecular mechanism of tissue architecture and cellular differentiation of salivary gland tumors
  • Biological evidence-based histopathological diagnostic criteria of oral carcinoma in-situ
  • Clinical promotion and practical diagnostic criteria for oral cytology in dental practice

Div. of Dental Pharmacology

  • Role of Monad and R2TP on oral cancer
  • Role of Monad and R2TP on craniofacial development
  • Screening of physiologically-functional ingredients that maintain bone health
  • Screening of chemical compounds that affect orthodontic tooth movement

Div. of Comprehensive Prosthodontics

  • Biomechanical analysis of chewing and swallowing using tongue pressure sensorsheet
  • Evaluation system of masticatory performance
  • Analysis of feeding and mastication using motion capture
  • Relationship between oral and systemic health
  • Study of maxillofacial prosthodontics and rehabilitation

Maxillofacial Region

  • Translational research for bone and nerve regenerative medicine
  • Stem cell derived paracrine factors and drug discovery
  • Application of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine for swallowing disorder
  • Analysis of circulation tumor cells and metastasis in oral squamous cell carcinoma.
  • Experimental study for a new therapeutic strategy targeting Cancer-Associated Fibroblast (CAF) in oral squamous cell carcinoma
  • Analysis of psychological change and oral function change befor and after surgery in oral cancer patients
  • Diagnosis and treatment of jaw deformity
  • Psychological study of patients with jaw deformities
  • Changes in masticatory functions after orthognathic treatment
  • The relation between bone quality and mandibular condylar resorption following mandibular distraction in a rat model
  • Diagnosis and treatment of sleep apnea syndrome
  • Clinical study of relation s between sleep-disordered breathing and maxillofacial morphology

Div. of Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology

The investigation field of our division is mainly focusing upon the novel technique and the diagnostic validity of the imaging modalities in oral and dento-maxillo-facial region. We have been involved on the basic and clinical imaging studies of lymph node metastases in oral cancer, temporomandibular joint and implant dentistry, and also on the studies of alleviating adverse events after radiation therapy and the prevention in patients with head and neck cancer. Our earnest wish is to establish concepts regarding the application of intraoral ultrasonography in dentistry.

Div. of Dental Anesthesiology

  • Studies on new treatments for chronic pain in the orofacial area
  • Studies on an new treatment for the dental psychosomatic disorder
  • Studies on the regeneration and induction mecahnism of the injured peripheral nerve

Center for Advanced Oral Science

  • Oxygen biology of oral mucosa for applications in regenerative medicine
  • Interactions between the nervous system and immune responses in periodontal disease
  • Molecular and cellular biological studies of transcriptional networks regulating development of craniofacial organs such as teeth
  • Regulatory mechanisms of homeostatic factor Del-1 in the inflammatory response
  • Research on sensory mechanism and neuroplasticity in oro-facial region

Department of Oral Health and Welfare

Div. of Welfare, Div. of Oral Science for Health Promotion

Following the establishment of the Department of Oral Health and Welfare (bachelor degree program), the Master Program of Oral Health and Welfare(2-year program)and the Doctor Program of Oral Health and Welfare(3-year program)were established at the Graduate School of Medical and Dental Sciences in 2008 and 2010, respectively.

In these Programs, we are promoting interdisciplinary research in the oral health life sciences and practical social welfare fields, and we are bringing up specialized professionals who can effectively apply their research results into the oral health and welfare practice in the local and international communities.

Main research themes
  • Identification of the oral factors involved in health promotion, which can contribute to extension of the healthy life expectancy
  • Construction of an Integrated Health and Welfare Service System for achieving wellbeing
  • Comprehensive effectiveness of the collaboration between oral health professionals and professionals working in related fields