New method may lead to hair loss therapy

New method may lead to hair loss therapy

Japanese researchers have developed a novel method for the mass production of hair regenerating tissues, that may lead to a new treatment for hair loss.

Researchers at Yokohama National University in Japan successfully prepared up to 5,000 cellular aggregates, also known as 'hair follicle germs (HFGs)' simultaneously.

They showed new hair growth from the HFGs after transplantation into mice.

"This simple method is very robust and promising. We hope that this technique will improve human hair regenerative therapy to treat hair loss such as androgenic alopecia," said Junji Fukuda, Professor at Yokohama National University.

Hair loss troubles a substantial number of individuals all over the world, particularly in ageing societies.

Hair regenerative medicine has emerged as a new therapy to combat the problem. The therapy involves regenerating hair follicles, the tiny organs that grow and sustain hair.

One of the more challenging obstacles to hair regenerative medicine has been the preparation of hair follicle germs, the reproductive source of hair follicles, on a large scale.

"The key for the mass production of HFGs was a choice of substrate materials for culture vessel," said Fukuda, corresponding author of the study published in the journal Biomaterials.

"We used oxygen-permeable dimethylpolysiloxane (PDMS) at the bottom of culture vessel, and it worked very well," Fukuda said.

The researchers evaluated the feasibility of this method by transferring the prepared HFGs from a fabricated 300- microwell array, called "HFG chip," to generate hair follicles and hairs on the mouse body.

They confirmed black hair generation at both the back and scalp transplantation sites. The regenerated hair exhibited the typical hair cycle of murine hair.

"We have preliminary data that suggests human HFG formation using human keratinocytes and dermal papilla cells," said Fukuda.  

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