Our department is one of the leading institutions in engineering education and renowned for its world-class researches. We offer a comprehensive curriculum, uniquely merging the core chemical engineering courses with the essences of materials science/engineering. Our diverse research and teaching interests include: Biochemical & biomedical engineering, catalysis & reactor design, thermodynamics (chemical, solid-state, fluid-phase equilibrium), colloid & interface science, electrochemistry, packaging of electronic materials, novel material synthesis, polymer science & engineering, and soft matter physics & materials.

Faculty
Dr. Akon HiguchiProfessor Office Phone: +886-3-4227151#34253 E-mail: higuchi@ncu.edu.tw Office: E3-320 Lab: E3-320 Education: Research Interests: Stem cell culture and differentiation, Reprogramming of cells into induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells), Biomedical materials, Purification of stem cells.
Research Background


Prof. Higuchi is also jointed to a guest researcher in RIKEN Advanced Science Institute, National Research Institute for Child Health and Development, and a visiting professor in King Saud University. He received his Ph.D. in Tokyo Institute of Technology in 1985. He was a Professor in Seikei University from 1993 to 2007. He received Sofue Memorial Award from Society of Fiber Science, Japan in 1994, Seikei Academic Award from Seikei Alumni Association in 2003, and Nanotechnology Outsatnding Contribution Award (奈米科技傑出貢獻獎), National Science Council, Taiwan in 2013. He is interested in the development of materials for stem cell research. He established purification method of hematopoietic stem cells and mesenchymal stem cells from umbilical cord blood and adipose tissue, respectively by filtration method through polymeric porous membranes. He is also developing biomaterials for stem cell culture. He published three articles in Chemical Reviews as first and corresponding author, which has high impact factor of 40.2 higher than Nature or Science and two articles in Progress in Polymer Science (impact factor=26.4).


Professional Activity of Scientific Society:

2011-present    Editorial Board Member of World Journal of Stem Cells (WJSC, China)

2011-present   Councillar of Chemical Society of Japan, Division of Polymer Science

2012-present    Editorial Board Member of Journal of Membrane Separation Technology (Lifescience Global, Canada) 

2014-present  Associate Editor ofPhysics and Chemistry of Stem Cells (Walter de Gruyter, German)

2013-present  Editor in Chief ofAmerican Journal of Tissue Engineering & Stem Cell (Columbia International Publishing, USA)

2014-present   Advisory Board of Journal of Materials Chemistry B (Royal Society of Chemistry, SCI journal, impact factor=6.101)

2014-present   The Asia-Pacific (AP) Council of the Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine International Society (TERMIS) 

2014-present   Editorial Board Member ofJournal of Stem Cells Research, Development and Therapy (Herald Scholarly Open Access, USA)

2014-present   Editorial Board Member ofJournal of Cytology and Tissue Biology (Herald Scholarly Open Access, USA)


Session Chairmanships at International and USA Meetings (Past 5 years)

•  The 2015 International Chemical Congress of Pacific Basin Societies Pacifichem2015, (Honolulu (USA), 2015, Session Organizer)

•  TERMIS-AP 2013 Annual Conference, October 23-26, 2013, Shanghai & Wuzhen, China (Session Chair)

•  The 12th Asian BioCeramics Symposinm (ABC-2012), National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan, November 18-21, 2012 (Session Chair)

•  2012 International Symposium of Materials on Regenerative Medicine (2012 ISOMRM), August 29 - 31

• 2012,Taipei, Taiwan (Local Scientific Committee Member, Session Chair)

•  The 7th Conference of Aseanian Membrane Society (AMS7), Busan, Korea, July 4-6, 2012 (Session Chair)

•  International Congress on Membranes and Membrane Processes 2011 (ICOM2011) (Amsterdam (Holland), 2011, Session chair)

•  The 2nd Taiwan-Japan Symposium on Nanomedicine, (Taipei (Taiwan), 2011, Session Organizer

•  The 2010 International Chemical Congress of Pacific Basin Societies Pacifichem2010, (Honolulu (USA), 2010, Session Organizer)

•  2009 Asia Conference for Biomaterials & Stem Cell Techniques (Taipei, 2009, Organizer)

•  The Fifth Conference of Aseanian Membrane Society (AMS5), Kobe, Japan, July 2009 (session chair).



Thesis Publications


Representative ten publications (Past 4 years)

1) A. Higuchi*, Q.-D. Ling, S. S. Kumar, Y. Chang, T.-C. Kao, M. A. Munusamy, A. A. Alarfaj, S.-T. Hsu, A. Umezawa, External stimulus-responsive biomaterials designed for the culture and differentiation of ES, iPS, and adult stem cells, Prog Polym. Sci., 39 (2014) in press.

2) D.-C. Chen, L.-Y. Chen, Q.-D. Ling, M.-H. Wu, C.-T. Wang, S. S. Kumar, Y. Chang, M. A. Munusamy, A. A. Alarfaj, H.-C. Wang, S.-T. Hsu, A. Higuchi*, Purification of human adipose-derived stem cells from fat tissues using PLGA/silk screen hybrid membranes, Biomaterials, 35 (2014) 4278-4287. 

3) A. Higuchi*, Q.-D. Ling, S. S. Kumar, M. A. Munusamy, A. A. Alarfajj, A. Umezawa, G.-J. Wu, Design of polymeric materials for culturing human pluripotent stem cells: Progress toward feeder-free and xeno-free culturing, Prog Polym. Sci., 39 (2014) in press, .

4) S. S. Kumar, J.-S. Hsiao Q.-D. Ling, I. Dulinska-Molak, G. Chen, Y. Chang, Y. Chang, Y. H. Chen, D.-C. Chen, S.-T. Hsu, A. Higuchi*, The combined influence of substrate elasticity and surface grafted molecules on the ex vivo expansion of hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells, Biomaterials, 34 (2013) 7632-7644.

5) A. Higuchi*, Q.-D. Ling, Y. Chang, S.-T. Hsu, A. Umezawa, Physical cues of biomaterials guide stem cell differentiation fate, Chemical Reviews, 113 (2013) 3297-3328. 41.298, World top No. 4 journal>

6) C.-H. Wu, Fa-Kung Lee, S. S. Kumar, Q.-D. Ling, Y. Chang, Y. Chang, H.-C. Wang, H. Chen, D.-C. Chen, S.-T. Hsu, A. Higuchi*, The Isolation and Differentiation of Human Adipose-Derived Stem Cells Using Membrane Filtration, Biomaterials, 33 (2012) 8228-8239.

7) A. Higuchi*, Q.-D. Ling, S.-T. Hsu, A. Umezawa, Biomimetic Cell Culture Proteins as Extracellular Matrices for Stem Cell Differentiation, Chemical Reviews, 112 (2012) 4507-4540. 41.298, World top No. 4 journal>

8) L.-Y. Chen, Y. Chang, J.-S. Shiao, Q.-D. Ling, Y. Chang, Y. H. Chen, D.-C. Chen, S.-T. Hsu, H. H. Lee, A. Higuchi*, Effect of the surface density of nanosegments immobilized on culture dishes on ex vivo expansion  of hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells from umbilical cord blood, Acta Biomaterialia, 8 (2012) 1749-1758.

9) A. Higuchi*, P.-Y. Shen, J.-K. Zhao, C.-W. Chen, Q.-D. Ling, H. Chen, H.-C. Wang, J.-T. Bing, S.-T. Hsu, Osteoblast Differentiation of Amniotic Fluid-Derived Stem Cells Irradiated with Visible Light, Tissue Engineering, Part A, 17(21-22) (2011) 2593-2602

   10) A. Higuchi*, Q.-D. Ling, Y.-A. Ko, Y. Chang, A. Umezawa, Biomaterials for the feeder-free culture of human embryonic stem cells                and induced pluripotent stem cells, Chemical Reviews, 111 (2011) 3021-3034   41.298, World top No. 4 journal>

Research project


Patent

1.    Y. Chang, R.-C. Ruaan, W.-Y. Chen, A. Higuchi, Y.-C. Chiang, J.-Y. Lai, Low biofouling filtration membranes and their forming method, USP 8,062,751 B2 (Nov 22, 2011)

2.    A. Higuchi, Pei-Tsz Li, Siou-Ting Yang, Methods and systems for isolating, ex vivo expanding and harvesting hematopoietic stem cells, JP 2009-115842 (May 12, 2009)

3.    A. Higuchi, Pei-Tsz Li, Siou-Ting Yang, Methods and systems for isolating, ex vivo expanding and harvesting hematopoietic stem cells, USP 12/464,210 (May 12, 2009)

4.    A. Higuchi, Pei-Tsz Li, Siou-Ting Yang, Methods and systems for isolating, ex vivo expanding and harvesting hematopoietic stem cells, Taiwan patent 98115726 (May 12, 2009)