Hair Follicle Regeneration possible through Transplantation of Bioengineered Germ Cells

hair follicle regeneration

A new study, carried out by scientists from the Research Institute for Science and Technology, Tokyo University of Science, has shown that it is possible to regenerate fully functional hair follicles through intra-cutaneous transplantation of bio-engineered adult germ cells. The study has been published in the latest issue of the journal Nature communications.

 
The study is all the more significant as it is for the first time that adult germ cells were used for regeneration of tissue, and the hair follicles grown in this manner were fully functional and developed proper communications with surrounding tissues like the epidermis, the arrector pili muscles and the nerve fibers. The follicles demonstrated normal hair cycles and the property of pilo-erection. The study provides a way for the potential treatment of baldness. It also shows how adult derived stem cells can be used for bio-engineered organ replacement therapy.
 
The study was led by Professor Takashi Tsuji, Director of Organ technologies Inc. For their study, the researchers developed hair follicle germ cells from adult epithelial germ cells and dermal papilla cells and transplanted them onto the skin of hairless mice. The intra-cutaneously transplanted follicle germ cells grew into normal hair which underwent hair cycles, wherein dead hair fell out and were replaced by new hair. The new hair also demonstrated the property of pilo-erection, wherein the hair tends to stand on its ends because of the contraction of small muscles present near its bed. The latter property shows that the new hair developed from the bio-engineered follicle germ cells were fully integrated with their surroundings.
 
The researchers have opined that this procedure will pave the way for the treatment of conditions like alopecia and androgenic alopecia in the future.
 
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Date: 
Thursday, April 26, 2012
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