Hair loss is a common problem that many people have disliked and hoped to eliminate for decades. As of 2013 there are multiple options available on the market that have been approved by the FDA in order to help address this problem, but these so-called cures are dependent on people continuing to use them in order to continue to see effects. These drugs are capable of preventing further hair loss, but they are not able to grow hair in areas where baldness has already set in. However, the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (IBN) has created a new model for hair follicles that may help to create drugs that could better manage hair regeneration.
The Director Professor of the IBN program Jackie Y. Ying has noted that the tissue engineering expertise the IBN program is known for has been applied to create a structure that mimics native hair follicles on the skin. They hope that this Nano cure for baldness can help people control how hair follicles develop to help to treat hair loss. This is crucial because this treatment would help to create a treatment that could address hair follicle damage caused by a wide variety of conditions.
How Nano Cure for Baldness Works with Natural Structures
The natural hair follicle is an organ that goes through growth cycles, creating new hair shafts from different cell types within the structure. Epithelial cells that surround the hair shaft and dermal papilla cells create the base of the follicle hub. When created on a 3D follicle model it is easy to see how these two types of cells interact to determine how it will be necessary to allow these cells to interact in order to reverse the effects of female and male pattern baldness.
Applying the Nano Cure for Baldness
The Nano cure for baldness focuses on the administration of a patented microfiber fabrication technology that will allow to create these two different types of follicle cells in three dimensions. The IBN team has developed a 3D follicle that mimics the cell arrangement and size of a real hair follicle that combined two types of follicle cells and type of epithelial cell called a keratinocyte that has a translucent fibrous matrix. The team can measure the diameter of a strand of hair to ensure that the cell behavior in their model is creating similar behavior to that of a natural hair follicle so it will produce the same results.
Once the Nano cure for baldness has been implemented into the skin it can mimic the effects of real hair follicles, creating fine, transparent fibers that are currently being used as a research tool for drug testing applications. Research currently indicates that switching these Nano structures on genes that are active when the skin is growing hair in mice they were able to create hair structures that looked very natural. If this technology can be commercialized in humans it could be used as a means to screen effectiveness of different products in treating hair loss in humans.