Human iPSCs: The Secret to Growing Hair through the Skin that Looks Natural

Stem cells can be used to grow functional hair follicles

Scientists at Sanford Burnham Prebys created natural-looking, hair that grows under the skin by using human induced pluripotent cells (iPSCs). This is a significant scientific breakthrough that could revolutionize hair growth. The findings were announced today at the annual meeting for the International Society for Stem Cell Research. They received a Merit Award. Stemson Therapeutics is a newly formed company that has licensed this technology.

In the United States, more than 80 millions men, women, and children suffer from hair loss. The condition can be caused by genetics, aging and childbirth. Cancer treatment, burns, burn injuries, and medical conditions such as alopecia. The condition is usually associated with emotional distress, which can lead to depression and anxiety.

Our new protocol, described today, overcomes the key technological challenges which prevented our discovery from being used in real-world applications, says Alexey Tskikh, Ph.D., associate professor at Sanford Burnham’s Development, Aging and Regeneration Program and co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Stemson Therapeutics. We now have a highly controlled, robust method to generate natural-looking hair through the skin by using unlimited human iPSC dermal papilla cell sources. This is an important breakthrough in the field of regenerative medicine and cell-based therapies for hair loss.


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