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Hair Restoration Research

Researchers Untangle Potential Pathway to Regenerating Hair in a Bald Scalp

Scientific research is often the quintessential example of taking something apart to learn how it works. A team of researchers has used that age-old technique to unwind the complex process by which embryonic cells organize into functional skin that includes “organoids” like hair follicles. By untangling this biological mystery, they were able to develop a model that could potentially lead to hair regeneration treatments and other advances in regenerative medicine. The study — “Self-organization process in newborn skin organoid formation inspires strategy to restore hair regeneration of adult cells” — was published in the August 22nd, 2017 issue of the journal PNAS.

Lei M, et al. 2017

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Hair Restoration Answers

Why is Cell Differentiation the Major Obstacle for Hair Cloning?

Q: What is the major obstacle to hair cloning?

A: Although many problems remain, the main one is to keep cloned cells differentiated (the ability to perform a specialized function, like producing a hair). There are certain cells in the skin, called fibroblasts, which reside around the base of the hair follicle. These cells are readily multiplied in a Petri dish. When these cells are injected into the skin, they have the ability to induce a hair to form (they are differentiated). The problem is that when these cells are multiplied in culture, they tend to lose this ability (they become undifferentiated).

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Hair Restoration Research

Summary: Biologists Make Skin Cells Work Like Stem Cells

A major advance in regenerative medicine has recently been announced. A new technique, which can convert adult skin cells into embryonic form, has been successfully performed on interbred mice by Dr. Shinya Yamanaka of Kyoto University. The technique, if adaptable to human cells could allow new heart, liver, or kidney cells to be regenerated from simple skin cells. This tissue could potentially replace organ tissue that has been damaged due to disease. As this tissue would be formed from the patient’s own skin cells, it would not be subject to rejection by the patient’s immune system.

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Hair Restoration Answers

How Are Hair Cloning, Hair Multiplication, and Follicular Neogeneis Different?

Q: What is the difference between hair cloning, hair multiplication, and follicular neogeneis? I have read about these terms on the internet and am completely confused.

A: Cloning generally refers to the multiplication of fetal stem cells or embryonic tissues. “Hair cloning”, as the term is generally used, involves the multiplication of adult tissue cells that are used to induce the formation of new hair, so the term is not exactly accurate.

“Hair multiplication” refers to the multiplication of adult hair structures. This model is not actively being pursued since the hair follicle is too complex to be simply cultured in a tube. Instead individual cells called fibroblasts are removed from the scalp multiplied in tissue culture and then these are injected back into the scalp in the hope that they will induce intact follicles to form.

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