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New hair for bald people thanks to stem cell therapy
A stem cell treatment could sprout new hair in bald people. Japanese researchers led by Professor Takashi Tsuji from the Tokyo University of Science have used hair follicles made from stem cells to restore hair growth - but so far only in mice.
As part of their study, the scientists tested the possibilities for regenerating hair growth in hairless mice. They found that certain adult stem cells can be used to form new hair follicles to make the bald mice grow fur again. As the researchers report in the journal "Nature Communications", the "current study shows the potential not only for the regeneration of the hair, but also for the implementation of a biotechnological organ replacement with adult somatic stem cells."
Implanted hair follicles provide new hair growth For decades, scientists around the world have been researching ways to prevent hair loss and help bald people grow new hair. Professor Takashi Tsuji and colleagues have apparently made a breakthrough here. They let new hair sprout on the bald skin of mice - with the help of adult stem cells. The researchers used fur and tactile hair follicle germs generated from the stem cells, whereupon the "biotechnological hair follicles adopted the right structures, shapes and connections with the surrounding tissues such as the epidermis, hair muscles and nerve fibers". The hair follicles showed “full functionality, including the ability to repeat hair cycles,” write Prof. Takashi Tsuji and colleagues in their article.
Treatment of hair loss and baldness in ten years at the earliest, the scientists believe that the effect observed in mice can also be transferred to humans, so that there is hope in the future for hair-bearing wearers to use the stem cell treatment to sprout new hair. However, according to the researchers, further research is necessary before the first clinical studies can be carried out on humans. Studies with humans could take place at the earliest in three to five years, said co-author Koh-ei Toyoshima. Scientists estimate that at least ten more years will pass before a suitable therapy for treating baldness comes onto the market. However, the researchers see the possibilities of their treatment approach not only limited to hair regeneration, but are already thinking about further possibilities for “realizing biotechnological organ replacement with adult somatic stem cells.” It may also be possible to regenerate teeth or more complex organ structures in this way, explained Tsuji and colleagues . (fp)
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