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Campus Now

Spring Verdure Issue (May. 2014)


Contributing to society through science and technology

Reporting advanced research results

Development of visualization technology which makes transparent forceps during endoscopic surgery

Image of visualization.
The operation area can be seen through the transparent forceps on the right.

Researchers led by Professor Masakatsu Fujie (Faculty of Science and Engineering) and Assistant Professor Yo Kobayashi (Graduate School) developed technology for visualization of blind spots in the forceps during endoscopic surgery. The development was made in cooperation with the Kyushu University Center for the Integration of Advanced Medicine Life Science and Innovative Technology and the Kyushu University Hospital Department of Pediatrics.

The developed technology involves the insertion of 1 more camera in addition to the endoscope camera used during operations. After photographing the operation area from beneath the forceps, that image is corrected as if it were taken using the endoscope camera positioned above the forceps. This creates the effect of a transparent forceps area and enables the hidden operation area to be seen. In conventional endoscope operations, there was the problem of surgical instruments themselves making it difficult to see, thus increasing the difficulty of operations. The newly developed technology allows commercial endoscope and other devices to be used without modification, so immediate practical application is possible. The development is expected to be used for operations in extremely narrow spaces such as pediatric surgery.

Clarifying a portion of factors for increasing lifespan and preventing aging through dietary restrictions

Survival curve of a male mouse
WT:Wild mouse
Npy:Mouse without NPY
AL:No dietary restriction
DR:Dietary restriction

A research group led by Professor Takuya Chiba (Faculty of Human Sciences) and Professor Isao Shimokawa (Nagasaki University) has clarified the important role of neuropeptide Y (NPY), a type of Neuropeptide, in increasing lifespan and preventing aging through dietary restrictions.

Previous research using experimental animals including monkeys (primates) had succeeded in replicating universal anti-aging effects achieved through dietary restrictions. These effects include suppressing the onset of cancer, lifestyle diseases and nerve diseases similar to Alzheimer's disease. However, details of the molecular mechanism for such effects remained unclear. In the current research, when dietary restrictions were placed on mice which did not possess NPY, the mice still developed tumors at a high rate. This demonstrated that NPY is related to the lifespan of mice, clarifying that NPY is a required factor for increasing lifespan and preventing aging. This discovery is expected to lead to the development of pharmaceuticals which increase the amount of NPY as a remedy for a variety of illnesses in which the incidence rate increases together with aging.