Stop hair loss: New method allows new hair to grow on bare skin

Stop hair loss: New method allows new hair to grow on bare skin

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Breakthrough achieved in the treatment of hair loss

Men in particular suffer from hair loss at some point in their lives. Affected people then usually look for ways and means to stop the hair loss, unfortunately often with only moderate success. However, hair loss could soon be an easy problem to solve. Researchers have now created natural-looking hair that can be produced in unlimited quantities with the help of stem cells.

Researchers from Sanford Burnham Preby's Medical Discovery Institute have managed to grow hair on the skin of nude mice. The results of the research were presented at this year's meeting of the International Society for Stem Cell Research in Los Angeles.

The new method has already been awarded a prize

The American researchers have refined a method by which they can grow hair on the skin of nude mice, using so-called dermal papilla cells from human pluripotent stem cells. The method was presented at the annual conference of the International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR) and has already been awarded a Merit Award.

Reasons for hair loss

Millions of people suffer from hair loss. Reasons for hair loss can include genetics, age, birth, cancer treatments, burn injuries and medical disorders such as alopecia. Hair loss is also often associated with an emotional burden, which affects the quality of life and can even lead to anxiety and depression.

Breakthrough in the development of therapies for hair loss

The new method overcomes the most important technological challenges that have so far excluded the process from real use, the researchers explain. The production of natural looking hair in unlimited quantities is now possible. "This is a crucial breakthrough in the development of cell-based hair loss therapies and in the field of regenerative medicine," added Dr. Alexey Terskikh of Sanford Burnham Preby's Medical Discovery Institute added in a press release.

Method uses cells in the hair follicle

The investigation focused on a cell type called dermal papilla. These cells are located in the hair follicle and control general hair growth, including the thickness, length and growth cycle of hair. In 2015, Dr. Terskikh and his team cultivate subcutaneous hair under the skin of mice by forming dermal papillae derived from human pluripotent stem cells. However, this process was still too uncontrolled and at that time required further refinement.

More research is needed

The human stem cells were combined with the cells of mice before they were attached to a biodegradable 3D scaffold. The scaffold controls the direction of hair growth and helps the stem cells integrate into the skin. The experiments were carried out on immunodeficient nude mice lacking body hair. The researchers are now trying to apply the same process to humans. They said there would be unlimited supply of stem cells that can be derived from a simple blood draw. Current treatments for hair loss include the drugs minoxidil and finasteride, or hair transplants, which can be extremely costly and can sometimes cause significant side effects.

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Author and source information

This text corresponds to the requirements of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.