In a hair transplant procedure, follicular unit grafts that have been extracted from the body are placed in a liquid solution that protects them from desiccation (drying out). The solution maintains their viability for the transplant and ensures maximum growth. Such a solution, called a “holding solution,” should mimic the body’s fluids as closely as possible; however, our understanding of the ideal holding solution continues to evolve. In our practice, we use HypoThermosol®, an optimized hypothermic (low temperature) preservation medium that extends the life of cells outside the body.
HypoThermosol is particularly useful in hair transplant procedures as a holding solution for harvested follicular unit grafts that are waiting to be placed into the scalp. The solution contains components that scavenge free radicals and provide pH buffering, osmotic support, energy substrates and ionic concentrations that balance the intracellular state at low temperatures. We use HypoThermosol in conjunction with ATP (see below).
HypoThermosol contains two potent antioxidants, glutathione and a synthetic analog of vitamin E. Its proprietary, optimized formulation mitigates temperature-induced molecular cell stress responses that occur during chilling and re-warming of grafts. This results in significantly extended viability of grafts waiting placement during the hair transplant procedure. It is serum-free and protein-free, giving it hypoallergenic properties.
Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) is a molecule used by the cells of the body to store and transfer energy for its metabolic reactions. The process of obtaining energy in order to produce ATP is called “cellular respiration.” ATP is formed from the binding of one phosphate molecule (phosphorylation) to one ADP (adenosine diphosphate) molecule. This is the process that stores energy. When ATP provides energy for cellular metabolism, it releases one of its phosphate ions and ADP reforms.
It is felt that the addition of ATP to holding solutions (in our case HypoThermosol) increases the health and survival of grafts for the period of time during a hair transplant when the grafts are out of the body. In our practice, a HypoThermosol + ATP mixture is used for all Robotic FUE, FUT and graft excision/repair procedures.
To ensure maximum graft survival, it is important that the temperature of the holding solution is maintained at a constant level specific for that medium. To accomplish this, we monitor the temperature of the holding solution throughout the hair restoration procedure using a digital sensor.