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Lille & Tokyo join forces to fight cancer

11 Aug 2014 | A region on the move, Health Nutrition

In a breakthrough for French-Japanese research, the University of Tokyo’s Institute of Industrial Science has a new site in Lille—the first outside Japan.

Lille and Tokyo launch unique joint research project

The combination of biomedical microelectromechanical systems (bioMEMS)* with structured cancer research opens up a rich field of scientific investigation, and the French-Japanese SMMiL-E project will explore this area through a synergistic research program that units the technologies developed at the Laboratory for Integrated Micro Mechatronic Systems (LIMMS) with biomedical work at Siric-Onco-Lille, an integrated cancer research facility.

To reach its goals, SMMiL-E is transferring bioMEMS-style microtechnologies from the University of Tokyo’s Institute of Industrial Science to Northern France for further development.

The program will use basic research to develop fundamental new knowledge that will improve patient care by making cancer detection, treatment and post-treatment follow-up more effective.

Staying close to medical professionals

To have a real impact on the fight against cancer, SMMiL-E research will be conducted close to medical personnel. In the project’s first phase, University of Tokyo equipment will occupy a new platform in the Oscar Lambret Center, but by 2018 Japanese researchers will have a new 1,000-sq m building in the same complex. This new facility will include:


  • A dust- and temperature-controlled room where biological and health-related microsystems will be produced
  • BioMEMS experiment platforms for biological and medical testing
  • A storage and assembly area
  • A space where scientists from a variety of disciplines can meet and share ideas



 * BioMEMS are highly miniaturized devices that can isolate individual cells, grow cell tissue in vitro, and characterize biomolecules such as DNA/proteins.


Source: National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS)/Lille 1 University press release




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