A research team from Tokyo University says it has managed to “significantly advance the technological development of bioengineered hair follicle regenerative therapy.” That’s another way of saying that the have regrown hair, though it’s only in mice.
The research was published in a recent issue of a U.K. scientific journal Nature Communications, and it shows the scientists, lead by a Dr. Takashi Tsuji, were able to plant hair below the skin of bald mice, restoring the hair follicle, and they were also able to root the follicle in the scalp so it will continue regrowing hair.
Their study, entitled: Fully functional hair follicle regeneration through the rearrangement of stem cells and their niches says in its abstract that their research shows that through rearranging “various stem cells” in bioengineered hair follicles fully functional hair follicle regeneration can be achieved. “Our study provides a substantial contribution to the development of bioengineering technologies that will enable future regenerative therapy for hair loss caused by injury or by diseases such as alopecia and androgenic alopecia,” the abstract concludes.
Initially, the researchers bioengineered different types of hair-follicle germs, grafting them to bald mice; the germs were the catalyst for hair growth. The research then also bioengineered human hair-follicle germs and transplanted them into mice and found they, too, grew in the mice.
There’s no timeline given in the study for future research of how long it might take to know if they will be able to achieve the same results in humans. Mice have been used for over a century in studies involving human conditions due to their being similar genetically and physiologically to human beings.