Researchers say new hair loss treatments may be developed thanks to a scientific breakthrough in Japan. A team that includes several universities across the country is studying the growth process of hair follicles and hopes their research will help develop regenerative medicine.
A study published in the journal Science Advances shows the successful creation of hair follicles. Hair follicles are basically anchors that hold hair to the scalp and elsewhere.
Follicles were created in the scientific term “culture” under controlled conditions rather than in a natural environment, but now researchers hope to replicate the breakthrough using human cells.
It may open new research avenues for developing new treatment strategies for hair loss disorders, including alopecia, which affects both women and men. The team hopes their research will also help understand how and why some people experience hair loss.
The key breakthrough is the so-called organoid culture. It’s a small, simple organ that scientists can create for laboratory research.
“Our next step is to use human-derived cells and apply them to drug discovery and regenerative medicine,” said Junji Fukuda, professor of engineering at Yokohama National University.
Although these organoids are designed to mimic the structure and physiology of human organs, researchers have traditionally relied on animal models.
YNU Engineering Faculty Assistant Professor Tatsuto Kageyama said it was a “promising tool” to help the team achieve such promising results.