No matter how old or young you are, or whether you are a man or a woman, everyone wants thick, strong hair. Unfortunately, for many of us, it’s just a dream. Hair loss is something that is faced by people of all ages.
But now, it looks like researchers are a step closer to finding a cure for the missing hair problem
Researchers at Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis used stem cells from mice to create “hairy skin” in the lab for the first time. Scientists grew both upper and lower layers of skin, which developed hair follicles as they would in a mouse’s body.
What are stem cells?
A stem cell is a cell with the unique ability to develop into specialized cell types in the body.
Stem cells have been the focus of a tremendous amount of medical research in recent decades because they may be used to replace almost any type of cells and tissues that have been damaged or lost due to disease.
Stem cell therapy has long been suggested as a potential treatment for hair loss. Although various methods of generating skin tissue have been developed in the past, their ability to grow hair has consistently fallen short. But the lab-grown skin tissue using stem cell therapy more closely resembles natural hair than any previous methods of generating skin tissue.
Stem cell therapy could be used in trials of baldness-treating drugs
Lead researcher Karl Koehler claims the new technique could be used as a blueprint to generate human skin replicas in the future.
He said: “It could be potentially a superior model for testing drugs – or looking at things like the development of skin cancers.”