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Kosaku Kurata Last modified date:2023.09.28

Graduate School
Undergraduate School

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Bioengineering is a field that applies engineering principles to solve problems in medicine and biology. At our laboratory, we specialize in addressing issues of bioengineering related to thermal engineering, but our research extends beyond this area. We conduct research and education across a diverse range of fields, including bioengineering and thermal engineering. .
Academic Degree
Doctor of Engineering
Country of degree conferring institution (Overseas)
Field of Specialization
Bioengineering, Biothermal Engineering
Total Priod of education and research career in the foreign country
Outline Activities
Field of research and education;
Bioengineering, Cellular biomechanics, Biothermal engineering

Research subjects;
# Bone remodeling mechanism induced by microdamage
# Responses of bone-derived cells to mechanical stimulation
# Effect of mechanical vibration on bone mass and morphology
# Evaluation of thermal damage induced by bone cement polymerization
# Cell and tissue preservation at low temperature
# Visualization of freeze damage of biomacromolecules by using raman imaging
# Development of new tissue ablation therapy using irreversible electroporation
Research Interests
  • Development of a series of open-source bio-hardware to inspire the talents with bio-innovative minds
    keyword : Open source, Biological experiment hardware, Active learning, Biotechnology innovation
  • Inhibitory mechanism of cell division by spatiotemporally modulated electric field and its application
    keyword : Electric field, Mitosis, Tumor treatment, Tumor treating fields, Less invasive treatment
  • Spectroscopic Quantification of ice-biomacromolecules interactions in frozen solutions using Raman imaging
    keyword : Raman imaging, Freeze damage, Biomacromolecules
  • A study on nonthermal irreversible electroporation to ablate tumors
    keyword : Irreversible electroporation, Electropermeabilization, Electric field distribution, Temperature distribution, Tumor
  • Effects of mechanical stimulation on the proliferation and differentiaton of mesenchymal stem cells
    keyword : Mesenchymal stem cells, Mechanical stimulation, Cell differentiation, Bone remodeling
  • Mechanism of cell activation by thermal treatment and its application to tissue engineering
    keyword : Thermal treatment, Osteoblast, Bone formation, Tissue engineering
  • Study on heat conduction in bone and thermally-induced bone cell injury
    keyword : Thermal injury, Bone, Osteocyte, Heat conduction, Numerical analysis, Bone cement
  • Initiating mechanism of bone remodeling by sensing fatigue microdamage
    keyword : Osteocyte, Osteoclast, Microdamage, Remodeling, Cellular network
  • Effect of mechanical vibration on bone mass and morphology
    keyword : Osteoporosis, Mechanical vibration, Bone remodeling
Academic Activities
1. Guoliang Gu, Kosaku Kurata, Zhi Chen, Kalervo H. Väänänen, Osteocyte: a cellular basis for mechanotransduction in bone, Journal of Biomechanical Science and Engineering, 10.1299/jbse.2.150, Vol.2, No.4, pp.150-165, 2007.10, [URL].
1. Agung Tri Wijayanta, Kosaku Kurata, Comprehensive review on thermal aspects of nonthermal irreversible electroporation, Heat Transfer,, 52, 6, 4357-4381, 2023.05, Irreversible electroporation (IRE) is an innovative cell ablation method based on the concept that the application of excessive electric pulses induces a lethal increase in the permeability of the cell membrane owing to nanoscale defects, resulting in a gentle form of necrotic cell death. Although the mechanism of cell death by IRE is primarily nonthermal, thermal effects are inevitable because electric pulses inherently generate Joule heat. The larger the applied voltage to treat a large target, the greater the Joule heating and the consequent temperature rise. Therefore, the temperature increase due to Joule heating during pulse application should be carefully controlled to minimize thermal damage. Research on IRE is an interdisciplinary endeavor incorporating health science for humanitarian relief and engineering. Therefore, this study provides a comprehensive review of the thermal aspects of IRE based on existing in vitro and in vivo experimental and numerical studies. The paper begins with an overview of IRE treatment covering the geometry and arrangement of electrodes, pulse parameters, and cell death mechanisms, followed by sections on thermal damage evaluation that summarize the significant work of experiments, analysis, and comparisons. Finally, thermal mitigation strategies, including electrode modification, lowering the IRE threshold, and modified pulsing protocols, are discussed..
2. Kosaku Kurata, Hirotaka Naito, Hiroshi Takamatsu, Feasibility of Concentric Electrodes in Contact Irreversible Electroporation for Superficial Lesion Treatment, IEEE transactions on bio-medical engineering, 10.1109/TBME.2022.3154788, 69, 8, 2480-2487, 2022.08, Objective: Contact irreversible electroporation (IRE) is a method for ablating cells by applying electric pulses via surface electrodes in contact with a target tissue. To facilitate the application of the contact IRE to superficial lesion treatment, this study further extended the ablation depth, which had been limited to a 400-m depth in our previous study, by using concentric electrodes. Methods: A prototype device of concentric electrodes was manufactured using a Teflon-coated copper wire inserted in a copper tube. The ablation area was experimentally determined using a tissue phantom comprising 3D cultured fibroblasts and compared with the electric field distribution obtained using numerical analyses. Results: Experiments showed that cells 540 m from the surface of the tissue phantom were necrotized by the application of 150 pulses at 100 V. The outline of the ablation area agreed well with the contour line of 0.4 kV/cm acquired by the analyses. The ablation depth predicted for the concentric electrode using this critical electric field was 1.4 times deeper than that for the parallel electrode. For the actual application of treatment, a multiple-electrode device that bundles several pairs of concentric electrodes was developed, and confirmed that to be effective for treating wide areas with a single treatment. Conclusion: The electric field estimated by the analyses with the experimentally determined threshold confirmed that concentric electrodes could attain a deeper ablation than parallel electrodes. Significance: Using the concentric electrodes, we were able to localize ablation to specific target cells with much less damage to neighboring cells..
3. Kosaku Kurata, Kazuki Shimada, Hiroshi Takamatsu, Application of the Taguchi method to explore a robust condition of tumor-treating field treatment, PLOS ONE, 10.1371/journal.pone.0262133, 17, 1, e0262133, 2022.01.
4. Kosaku Kurata, Open-source colorimeter assembled from laser-cut plates and plug-in circuits, HardwareX, 10.1016/j.ohx.2020.e00161, 9, e00161, 2021.04.
5. Kosaku Kurata, Shuto Yoshimatsu, Hiroshi Takamatsu, Low-Voltage Irreversible Electroporation Using a Comb-Shaped Contact Electrode, IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering, 10.1109/TBME.2019.2914689, 2020.02, Objective: Irreversible electroporation (IRE) is a less invasive therapy to ablate tumor cells by delivering short intensive electric pulses more than a few kV via needle-like electrodes. For reducing the required voltage for the IRE, a durable comb-shaped miniature electrode was designed to use in contact with the lesion surface for a new method named contact IRE. Methods: A miniature electrode was newly fabricated by a fine inkjet patterning and the subsequent etching of a copper-clad polyimide film. A train of 10-µs or 100-µs long electric pulses were applied 90 times at the interval of 1 s to a tissue phantom, and its cross section was observed to measure the necrotized area. Results: Cell experiments showed that the maximum ablation depth increased as a function of the applied voltage and reached 400 µm at 20 V. Furthermore, insulation of the lateral space between electrode teeth with a resin and administration of adjuvants to reduce the IRE threshold of the cell membrane did increase the ablation depth by 26 % and the ablation area by 40 %. Conclusion: The miniature electrode developed in this study successfully necrotized cells in a tissue phantom 400 µm deep from the surface with the electric pulses of only 20 V. Significance: The contact IRE for the surface of skin and gastrointestinal tract will ablate cutaneous and subcutaneous tumors by applying only several tens of volts..
6. Kosaku Kurata, Junpei Matsushita, Atsushi Furuno, Junichi Fujino, Hiroshi Takamatsu, Assessment of thermal damage in total knee arthroplasty using an osteocyte injury model, Journal of Orthopaedic Research, 10.1002/jor.23600, 35, 12, 2799-2807, 2017.12, Polymethylmethacrylate bone cement has been widely used for the anchorage of artificial implants in various orthopedic surgeries. Although it is one of the most successful biomaterials in use, excess heat generation intrinsically causes thermal damage to bone cells adjacent to the bone cement. To estimate a risk of thermal injury, a response of bone cells to cement polymerization must be elucidated because of the occurrence of thermal damage. Thermal damage is affected not only by maximal temperature but also by exposure time, temperature history, and cell type. This study aimed at quantifying the thermal tolerance of bone cells for the development of a thermal injury model, and applying this model for the estimation of thermal damage during cement polymerization in total knee arthroplasty. Osteocytes, osteoblasts, and fibroblasts were respectively subjected to steady supraphysiological temperatures ranging from 45 to 50°C. Survival curves of each cell and temperatures were used to formulate the Arrhenius model. A three-dimensional heat conduction analysis for total knee arthroplasty was conducted using the finite element model based on serial CT images of human knee. A maximal temperature rise of 50°C was observed at the interface between the 3-mm thick cement and the tissue immediately beneath the tibial tray of the prosthesis. The probability of thermal damage to the osteocyte, which was calculated using the Arrhenius model, was negligible at a distance of at least 1 mm away from the cement–bone interface..
7. Shuto Yoshimatsu, Masahiro Yoshida, Kosaku Kurata, Hiroshi Takamatsu, Development of contact irreversible electroporation using a comb-shaped miniature electrode, Journal of Thermal Science and Technology, 10.1299/jtst.2017jtst0023, 12, 2, 2017.08, Irreversible electroporation (IRE) has been studied as a less invasive method for tumor treatment. Since the mechanism of the treatment is based on the fatal perforation of the cell membrane caused by an external electric field, a tumor can be ablated non-thermally if an appropriate electric field is selected. However, an electric field more than a few kV/cm is required to accomplish ablation. In this study, we aim to examine the feasibility of a comb-shaped miniature electrode for reducing the required voltage for IRE. The reduction of the applied voltage while maintaining the potential difference was realized by narrowing the gap between the electrodes. A 150-μm-wide miniature electrode with a 100-μm gap between its teeth was fabricated using photolithography. In the experiment, the electrode was contacted onto a tissue phantom consisting of fibroblasts cultured in agarose gel three-dimensionally. After the application of electric pulses, cell ablation depth was examined using fluorescent staining. The miniature electrode successfully ablated the cells at the surface of the tissue phantom by the application of 90 electric pulses at 100 V. The maximum and average ablation depth were 72.7 μm and 61.0 ± 11 μm, respectively, which was approximately 40 % of that estimated by the numerical analysis. Our study showed that the contact-IRE using a miniature electrode in the order of sub-millimeter does ablate the superficial cells of targeted tissues upon the application of electric pulses of less than 100 V; however, further studies are required to maximize the ablation depth under the constraint of limited applied voltage..
8. Kosaku Kurata, Seiji Nomura, Hiroshi Takamatsu, Three-dimensional analysis of irreversible electroporation: Estimation of thermal and non-thermal damage, International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer, 72, 66-74, 2014.05.
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10. Kosaku Kurata, Ryo Ueno, Masahiro Matsushita, Takanobu Fukunaga, Hiroshi Takamatsu, Experimental and Analytical Studies on Contact Irreversible Electroporation for Superficial Tumor Treatment, Journal of Biomechanical Science and Engineering,, 8, 4, 306-318, 2013.12, [URL].
11. Takashi Kono, Yasunori Ayukawa, Yasuko Moriyama, Kosaku Kurata, Hiroshi Takamatsu, Kiyoshi Koyano, The effect of low-magnitude, high-frequency vibration stimuli on the bone healing of rat incisor extraction socket, Journal of Biomechanical Engineering, 134, 9, 091001(6 pages), 2012.09.
12. Kosaku Kurata, Takashi Yoshii, Satoru Uchida, Takanobu Fukunaga, Hiroshi Takamatsu, Visualization of electroporation-induced temperature rise using temperature-sensitive ink, International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer, 55, 23-24, 7207-7212, 2012.08.
13. Kosaku Kurata, Masahiro Matsushita, Takashi Yoshii, Takanobu Fukunaga, Hiroshi Takamatsu, Effect of Irreversible Electroporation on Three-Dimensional Cell Culture Model, Proceedings of the 34th Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, 179-182, 2012.08.
14. Tomoki Nakashima, Mikihito Hayashi, Takanobu Fukunaga, Kosaku Kurata, Masatsugu Oh-hora, Jian Q Feng, Lynda F Bonewald, Tatsuhiko Kodama, Anton Wutz, Erwin F Wagner, Josef M Penninger, Hiroshi Takayanagi, Evidence for osteocyte regulation of bone homeostasis through RANKL expression, Nature Medicine, 17, 1231-1234, 2011.11.
15. Kosaku Kurata, Hiroshi Takamatsu, Effect of Hyperthermal Treatment on the Viability of Bone-Derived Cells, Journal of Biomechanical Science and Engineering,, 6, 2, 101-113, 2011.04, [URL].
16. Hiroshi Takamatsu, Toshiyuki Tanaka, Yusaku Furuya, Satoru Uchida, Kosaku Kurata, Koji Takahashi, Preliminary Study of the Measurement of Thermal Conductivity of Fluids with a Micro-Beam MEMS Sensor, Proceedings of the 9th Asian Thermophysical Properties Conference, 2010.10.
17. Hideshi Miura, Kenta Okawachi, Hyun-Goo Kang, Fujio Tsumori, Kosaku Kurata, Nobuhiro Arimoto, Laser Forming of Ti-6Al-7Nb Alloy Powder Compacts for Medical Devices, Materials Science Forum, Vols. 654-656, pp. 2057-2060, 2010.06.
18. Hideshi Miura, Kenta Okawachi, Hyun-Goo Kang, Fujio Tsumori, Kosaku Kurata, Nobuhiro Arimoto, Laser Forming Technique For Medical Devices of Ti Alloy powders, Proceeding of the 13th International Conference on Metal Forming, pp.1308-1311, 2010.05.
19. S. Imai, T.J. Heino, A. Hienola, K. Kurata, K. B?ki, Y. Matsusue, H.K. V??n?nen, H. Rauvala, Osteocyte-derived HB-GAM (pleiotrophin) is associated with bone formation and mechanical loading, Bone, 10.1016/j.bone.2009.01.004, 44, 5, 785-794, Vol.44, No.5, pp.785-794, 2009.05.
20. Jan G. Hazenberg, Teuvo A. Hentunen, Terhi J. Heino, Kosaku Kurata, Thomas C. Lee, David Taylor, Microdamage detection and repair in bone
Fracture mechanics, histology, cell biology, Technology and Health Care, 10.3233/THC-2009-0536, 17, 1, 67-75, 2009.02, Bone is an elementary component in the human skeleton. It protects vital organs, regulates calcium levels and allows mobility. As a result of daily activities, bones are cyclically strained causing microdamage. This damage, in the form of numerous microcracks, can cause bones to fracture and therefore poses a threat to mechanical integrity. Bone is able to repair the microcracks through a process called remodelling which is tightly regulated by bone forming and resorbing cells. However, the manner by which microcracks are detected, and repair initiated, has not been elucidated until now. Here we show that microcrack accumulation causes damage to the network of cellular processes, resulting in the release of RANKL which stimulates the differentiation of cells specialising in repair..
21. T. Fukunaga, K. Kurata, J. Matsuda, H. Higaki, Effects of strain magnitude on mechanical responses of three-dimensional gel-embedded osteocytes studied with a novel 10-well elastic chamber, Journal of Biomechanical Science and Engineering,, 3, 1, 13-24, Vol.3, No.1, pp.13-24, 2008.02, [URL].
22. K. KURATA, H. TANIGUCHI, T. FUKUNAGA, J. MATSUDA, H. HIGAKI, Development of a compact microbubble generator and its usefulness for three-dimensional osteoblastic cell culture, Journal of Biomechanical Science and Engineering,, 2, 4, 166-177, 2007.10, [URL].
23. K. KURATA, T. FUKUNAGA, J. MATSUDA, H. HIGAKI, Role of mechanically damaged osteocytes in the initial phase of bone remodeling, International Journal of Fatigue, Vol.29, No.6, pp.1010-1018, 2007.06.
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25. N. TSUKAMOTO, T. MAEDA, H. MIURA, S. JINGUSHI, A. HOSOKAWA, K. HARIMAYA, H. HIGAKI, K. KURATA, Y. IWAMOTO, Repetitive tensile stress to rat caudal vertebrae inducing cartilage formation in the spinal ligaments: a possible role of mechanical stress in the development of ossification of the spinal ligaments, Journal of Neurosurgery Spine, Vol.5, No.3, pp.234-242, 2006.09.
26. K. KURATA, T. J. HEINO, H. HIGAKI, H. K. V__N_NEN, Bone marrow cell differentiation induced by mechanically damaged osteocytes in 3D gel-embedded culture, Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, 10.1359/jbmr.060106, 21, 4, 616-625, Vol.21, No.4, pp.616-625, 2006.04.
27. K. KURATA, H. HIGAKI, H. MIURA, T. MAWATARI, T. MURAKAMI, Y. IWAMOTO, Influences of newly formed woven bone on tissue stresses in rat caudal vertebrae subjected to mechanical loading: A study based on morphological measurement using a micro-CT and computational stress analysis, JSME International Journal, Series C, 10.1299/jsmec.45.558, 45, 2, 558-566, Vol.45, No.2, pp.558-566, 2002.06, [URL].
28. K. KURATA, T. UEMURA, A. NEMOTO, T. TATEISHI, T. MURAKAMI, H. HIGAKI, H. MIURA, Y. IWAMOTO, Mechanical strain effect on bone resorbing activity and mRNA expressions of marker enzymes in isolated osteoclast culture, Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, 10.1359/jbmr.2001.16.4.722, 16, 4, 722-730, Vol.16, No.4, pp.722-730, 2001.04.
29. K. KURATA, H. HIGAKI, H. MIURA, T. MURAKAMI, Y. IWAMOTO, Alteration of mechanical properties of remodeling bone adapted to mechanical stimuli, JSME International Journal, Series C,, 43, 4, 822-829, Vol.43, No.4, pp.822-829, 2000.12, [URL].
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31. K. KURATA, H. HIGAKI, H. MIURA, T. MAWATARI, T. MURAKAMI, Y. IWAMOTO, The morphological measurements with a micro CT and the stress analyses of the adaptive remodeling by applied mechanical stimuli in rat caudal vertebrae, JSME International Journal, Series C, 10.1299/jsmec.42.492, 42, 3, 492-500, Vol.42, No.3, pp.492-500, 1999.09, [URL].
1. Kosaku Kurata, Hiroshi Takamatsu, Water transport through the cell membrane after electroporation, The 32nd International Symposium on Transport Phenomena (ISTP32), 2022.03.
2. Kazumichi Ichihara, Kosaku Kurata, James Jacobus Cannon, Hiroshi Takamatsu, Evaluation of articular cartilage quality with Raman spectroscopy employing principal component analysis, The 11th Asian-Pacific Conference on Biomechanics (AP Biomech 2021), 2021.12.
3. Kosaku Kurata, Hiroshi Takamatsu, Application of Low-intensity Electric Fields to Cancer Treatment, The 6th International Conference on Industrial, Mechanical, Electrical and Chemical Engineering (ICIMECE) 2020, 2020.10.
4. Kosaku Kurata, Development of a rotary bending device for 3D cell culture, 2nd Bone and Biomaterials Workshop, 2016.08.
Membership in Academic Society
  • Japanese Society for Medical and Biological Engineering
  • The Japan Society of Mechanical Engineers
  • Japanese Society for Bone Morphometry
  • Japanese Society for Bone and Mineral Research
  • Japanese Society for Clinical Biomechanics
  • The Society of Biological Sciences Education of Japan
  • Heat Transfer Society of Japan
Educational Activities

KIKAN Education Seminar
Heat Transfer I and II
Fundamental Biomechanical Engineering
Mechanical Engineering Design and Drawing
Mechanical Engineering Experiments II
Japanese Communication
Graduation Research

Biomechanical Engineering I and II