Is there a cure for baldness on the horizon? There just might be.
Scientists in Japan may have found the cure for baldness after they successfully generated hair follicles with long shafts in a lab.
Their journal article, “Reprogramming of three-dimensional microenvironments for in vitro hair follicle induction,” described how they used embryonic mouse cells to create a hair follicle that grew 3mm (about 0.12 inch) in 23 days.
Using a technique that involves the creation of skin organoids – miniature versions of an organ in a petri dish- they were also able to improve the hair follicle colour after adding a drug that boosted melanin, a natural pigment. They could also regenerate hair by implanting the organoids and causing repeated hair cycles.
“Organoids were a promising tool to elucidate the mechanisms in hair follicle morphogenesis in vitro” Tatsuto Kageyama, an assistant professor in the engineering faculty at Yokohama National University, stated in a press release.
The scientists said in the press release that they believed their research “could prove valuable for better understanding of hair follicle induction, for evaluating hair pigmentation and hair growth drugs, and for regenerating hair follicles.”
New research might solve more than hair loss
Although women go bald, the percentage is much higher in men. Hair loss affects up to two out of every five men. Baldness has long been treated with vitamins, hair loss therapy, and surgery, but researchers are still searching for a cure.
This new research, when fully developed, might not only solve baldness. There are other reasons to be excited about this research, as it can aid regenerative medicine.
In an email to Fox News, Dr Michael Kinch, a cell biologist and cancer researcher based at Long Island University’s Center for Research Innovation said;
“This new understanding of how cells interact can hold much larger implications for understanding and correcting defects in other tissues that contain similar types of cells, ranging from diabetes (where similar interactions control insulin production) to cancer.”
Further speaking in the press release Junji Fukuda, a professor and member of the faculty of engineering at Yokohama National University, said their next step is to use cells of human origin and apply for drug development and regenerative medicine.
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