Photo: Hair is seen growing out of skin cells derived from iPS cells and grafted onto the belly of a mouse. | Riken / kyodo
Japanese scientists said Saturday they have bioengineered the skin organ known as the integumentary system in mice using induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells.
The achievement is likely to lead to further progress in regenerative medicine to treat severe burns, skin diseases and hair loss as the organ contains all the layers of skin tissues and appendages, such as hair follicles and sebaceous glands.
The group, made up of members from the Riken research institute, Tokyo University of Science, Kitasato University, Organ Technologies Inc. and others, cultured iPS cells from mice in vitro for one week and observed the formation of embryoid bodies with epithelial and mesenchymal cells. Next, the team, led by Riken’s Takashi Tsuji, transplanted some 30 such bodies with collagen gel in live mice.
Somewhat similar to the work that's been done at Sanford Burnham in California, Japanese scientists have grown hair follicles from bioengineered skin cells using iPS (induced pluripotent stem cells) in mice. Although there is a long way to go to achieve "unlimited" hair for humans, these research breakthroughs the beginning of stem cell hair loss "cures" which may be helpful for those suffering from various forms of alopecia. Male and female hair loss sufferers often lose self-esteem and self-confidence as coverage of the scalp diminishes due to hereditary (androgenetic alopecia) and other baldness conditions.
At Bauman Medical, we watch these stem cell hair growth breakthroughs with great anticipation and excitement and are looking forward to the day that this kind of therapy will be available for our hair loss patients! Sincerely, Alan J. Bauman, M.D. - Diplomate, American Board of Hair Restoration Surgery