As advances continue to spur in the hair growth research industry, a new, potentially break through procedure could be in the near future. Embryonic stem cells, often used to produce specialized cells to understand the cause and treatment of diseases, have been shown to regrow hair on bald skin in laboratory mice.
The Study Explained
A team of researchers led by Alexey Tersikikh, PhD, conducted a transplant of human pluripotent stem cells (HPSCs) onto laboratory mice. These stem cells successfully generated into dermal papilla cells, allowing the mice to grow new hair.
The dermal papilla-like cells from the embryos were similar to adult human dermal papilla cells, and were able to encourage hair follicle formation in these test subjects. When human dermal papilla cells are cultured, they lose their ability to initiate follicle growth, so the embryonic cells are a potential workaround for this short falling.
“We have developed a method using human pluripotent stem cells to create new cells capable of initiating human hair growth,” said Alexey Terskikh, Ph.D., associate professor in the Development, Aging and Regeneration Program at Sanford-Burnham. (i)
The reason embryonic treatment works is due to their ability to generate and induce dermal papilla-like cells. The dermal papilla is a cluster of cells located at the base of the hair follicle. While most hair loss specialists understand the dermal papilla role in hair growth, the details of how and why are still a point of research for many in the field. Now that we are able to see exactly how stem cells grow hair, advanced procedures might be on the horizon. Not only does this help those who aren’t candidates for transplants due to diffuse hair loss patterns, but embryonic stem cells may be able to restore dermal papilla cells in patients suffering from burned or damaged follicles that no longer have the ability to grow hair.
Are Embryonic Stem Cells the Future of Hair Restoration?
Approximately 40 million men and 21 million women in the United States suffer from hair loss, so any advancement in hair restoration research provides hope to those suffering. While this new discovery can help the millions of people who aren’t candidates for hair transplant surgery, we will have to wait and see when and how this breakthrough procedure becomes a part of the hair restoration industry.
For now, there are other options available for those suffering from hair loss. Hair transplants, as previously mentioned, provide excellent and permanent results in patients suffering from patterned baldness. Low-level laser therapy (LLLT) caps and in-office domes are also viable supplements or stand alone treatments for most hair loss sufferers.
For more information about hair restoration, contact Miami Hair to discuss the treatments available today. Fill out our hair transplant candidacy form to expedite your answers on whether or not you can successfully undergo the surgery. For assistance and additional information, contact a hair loss specialist directly at 305-925-0222.
Gnedeva K, Vorotelyak E, Cimadamore F, Cattarossi G, Giusto E, Terskikh VV, et al. (2015) Derivation of Hair-Inducing Cell from Human Pluripotent Stem Cells. PLoS ONE 10(1): e0116892. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0116892