DNP and RIKEN in Jointly Develop Nano-Level Micro Processing Technology Driven Cell Culture Plate

Dai Nippon Printing Co., Ltd. (DNP) and RIKEN have jointly developed a nano-level1 micro processing technology-driven cell culture plate facilitating easy cell separation, in a development that is expected to improve the quality and safety of cells used in regenerative medicine.

The joint development partners are presently engaged in joint research aimed at establishing technology for identifying the status of cell differentiation2 on the surface of cell culture plates for use in regenerative medicine.


We have recently seen increased activity in the area of regenerative medicine, including the November 2014 passage of the Act on the Safety of Regenerative Medicine that regulates treatments involving iPS cells, and the enforcement of the Revised Pharmaceutical Affairs Act that simplifies application procedures for products and equipment for use in regenerative medicine. Regenerative medicine, drug discovery, cell transplant therapy and technology for taking in good quality homogenous cells from outside the body are all important. In particular, technology for identifying the status of cell separation during the cell culture process, and separating out heterogeneous cells forms the base of this endeavor. Under existing processes, when identifying the status of cell differentiation, cells are tagged with a fluorescent marker, and dispersed in a solution before separation. There are concerns, however, that cells may be damaged during this process.

In this latest development, DNP and RIKEN have successfully identified the surface microstructure of cells with significantly different affinities due to difference in cell type. The research partners have also capitalized on this development, and by using nano-level micro processing technology developed by DNP, have taken a glass surface and processed it into a convex-concave cell culture plate. As a result, it is now possible to obtain undamaged good quality cells that are essential in regenerative medicine. Looking ahead, the research partners will use this technology and endeavor to establish systems for the efficient separation of highly safe cells.

[Cell Culture Plate Features]

  • Using nano-level micro processing technology developed by DNP, a convex-concave structure with indentations of approximately 100nm~300nm has been applied to a glass surface. This marks the achievement of ultra-micro processing on thin glass with approximately the same thickness as a cover glass. And makes it possible to observe the fluorescent and phosphorescent light emitted by the cells, along with observation activities using a high resolution microscope.
  • It is now possible to mass produce homogenous high resolution convex-concave structure products as a result of the nanoimprint technology3 from DNP.



 Example of micro pattern surface

[Looking Ahead]

DNP plans to offer the newly developed cell culture plate from 2016 to companies, research institutes and hospitals engaged in cell culture and drug discovery. Apart from developing a cell culture device based on this new plate, an optimum cell culture plate will also be offered to research institutes for use in research assessment. DNP will leverage nano-level micro processing technology and other technologies in its portfolio to actively develop products targeting life sciences, aiming to contribute to the spread of regenerative medicine and development of cell transplant therapy and drug discovery research.

RIKEN announced the results of this joint research at The 14th Congress of the Japanese Society for Regenerative Medicine held on March 19, 2015.  


1: nanometer scale
2: The transformation in function and structure of cells corresponding to the role of internal organs, bones and/or muscle.
3: A micro processing technology that transfers nanometer to micrometer scale patterns by pressure bonding resin etc. in a mold on the surface of the substrate.


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