A CURE for baldness could well be right around the corner after scientists in America announce what could be a significant breakthrough.
They’ve managed to develop a method of hair growth using human stem cells combined with mice cells.
“It could improve the lives of millions,” said Dr Richard Chaffoo, a medical adviser to Stemson Therapeutics, the group behind the research.
“Hair loss profoundly affect many people’s lives. A significant part of my practice involves both men and women who are seeking solutions to their hair loss,” he added.
So far researchers have successfully grown hair through the skin of mice using dermal papilla cells derived from human pluripotent stem cells.
The human cells are combined with the mice cells and attached to a biodegradable scaffold, with similar properties to that of dissolvable stitches.
Dermal papilla cells have been known to restore hair growth but usually cannot be obtained in large enough amounts in order to do so. Growing them from stem cells however, means that scientists can create an unlimited supply of them.
Alexey Terskikh, Ph.D., the co-founder and chief scientific officer of Stemson Therapeutics, said: “Our new protocol described today overcomes key technological challenges that kept our discovery from real-world use.
“Now we have a robust, highly controlled method for generating natural-looking hair that grows through the skin using an unlimited source of human iPSC-derived dermal papilla cells. This is a critical breakthrough in the development of cell-based hair-loss therapies and the regenerative medicine field.”
The research has received a Merit Award at the annual meeting of the International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR).