A number of hair restoration surgeons are now claiming that they can effect genuine hair regeneration from dormant follicles through the combination of two medical therapies: So-called PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) Injections and a product called ACell MatriStem. Acell MatriStem is “porcine urinary bladder matrix,” derived from pig bladder cells, that has proven to be very helpful in wound healing. And as readers of this website know, wound healing has been at the forefront of research into hair cloning and hair follicle regeneration.
At the 19th annual conference last year of the International Society of Hair Transplant Surgeons held in Anchorage, Alaska, Dr. Gary Hitzig presented evidence that Acell “attacts” adult stem cells to a “wound” and converts them into the progenitor cells that, in the case of hair follicles, actually grow hair. So, the idea is to combined Acell with large amounts of adult stem cells taken from the patient’s own body — which is where the Platelet Rich Plasma comes in — and then to inject this concoction into the bald areas of the scalp. The hope is that it will send signals to the adult stem cells lurking in the dormant hair follicles and, in essence, wake them up.
A number of clinics worldwide are now performing this procedure — apparently with some success. The pictures I’ve seen definitely show renewed hair growth but it’s not a panacea. It’s still a messy, bloody business that looks a lot like hair transplant surgery, but many people are more than willing to undergo it.
What is interesting is the proposed mechanism for how this works. In essence, the Acell and PRP combination floods the scalp area with growth factors that play a crucial role in jump-starting these comatose hair follicle stem cells.
This is a lot like what Histogen is proposing with its Hair Stimulating COmplex (HSC) and what Cygenx claims is the basis of its RegenRXx stem cell hair serum. A lot of different research strands are coming togehter, in other words, that point to growth factors as *the* key in basically curing baldness and coming up with a realistic stem cell hair growth treatment.
If this works… and it can be combined with a genuine hair cloning technology like that of RepliCel or Aderans, then we truly might see a realistic baldness cure — and sooner rather than later.