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Scientists Identify New Method for Hair Growth

The New York Times reports that scientists may have identified a new method of hair growth to replace the traditional hair transplantation method. A study published in PNAS found that growing removed dermal papillae cells, found at the base of hair follicles and known to induce their growth, could be cultured in a specific way to increase their numbers. Scientists used the “hanging drop” method, one which involves culturing cells removed from humans on the lid of a petri dish and then inverting the lid to cause the cells to grow in clumps, allowing them to touch in 3D to encourage signaling. The cells were then implanted on a human skin graft taken from the foreskin of a newborn. Scientists believed that if the cells could generate hair follicles on the foreskin, they could easily generate them on the scalp or elsewhere. New follicles grew on 5 out of the 7 human grafts in mice. The results suggest an attractive alternative to traditional hair transplant methods which can leave scarring and don’t actually act to increase the amount of hair.

Read it in The New York Times.

Read the study in PNAS.