Bioengineering the Hair Follicle

    January 2007 in “Organogenesis
    Kurt S. Stenn, Satish Parimoo, Ying Zheng, T. Barrows, Marylene Boucher, Ken Washenik
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    TLDR Bioengineering can potentially treat hair loss by regenerating hair follicles and cloning hair, but the process is complex and needs more research.
    The 2006 document "Bioengineering the Hair Follicle" discussed the potential of bioengineering for hair growth and alopecia treatment. The researchers highlighted the complexity of the hair follicle structure and the challenges of replicating it. They emphasized the importance of understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms of hair follicle development for successful bioengineering. The study found that it's possible, though inconsistent, to regenerate a complete follicle from parts of a full follicle. The follicular papilla can induce a new hair follicle when implanted close to a receptive epithelium. The research also explored "hair cloning" from dissociated cells, concluding it as a promising opportunity, but complex and requiring further research. The study found that dissociated trichogenic cells can generate fully mature follicles that behave like natural follicles. Preliminary work with human cells showed promise for clinical applications. However, the exact process of how new hairs form, particularly in male pattern balding scalp, remained uncertain. The document also referenced various studies related to hair follicle regeneration and the potential of stem cells in this process.
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