Japanese scientists use stem cells to grow hair on bald mice, raising hopes of a cure for baldness
Regardless of age, race or nationality, millions of men across the world are bothered by baldness.
The sad news is that traditional hair restoration surgery — which works by transplanting hair follicles from the back of the head to the front — wouldn’t work if you have few hair follicles left, or none at all.
So if you’re a man who’s lost all your hair and would give anything to get them back, here’s good news for you.
Japanese researchers have successfully grown hair on hairless mice by implanting hair follicles created from adult stem cells — sparking new hopes for a more lasting and effective cure for baldness.
Unlike current hair transplant methods that move existing hair follicles from one area of the scalp to another, the new approach actually spurs the creation of new hair follicles from existing cells, and the consequent grow of new hair.
The team, made up of researchers from many Japanese universities and led by Dr. Takashi Tsuji, a professor at the Research Institute for Science and Technology at the Tokyo University of Science (TUS), bioengineered hair follicles and transplanted them into the skin of lab mice that had been genetically engineered to be hairless. The mice grew hair, which continued regenerating in normal growth cycles after old hairs fell out. Their findings are published in the April 18 online issue of the science magazine Nature Communications.
“It’s exciting because it shows (that) a cell-based approach for treating hair loss is maybe feasible,” George Cotsarelis, a dermatologist at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia tells the magazine Science News.