Tag Archives: Hair Regrowth

Hair Cloning: RepliCel and the World of Cellular Hair Restoration

RepliCel, also known as RepliCel Life Sciences, is a research and development company for treatment and cure of hair loss – genetic based pattern baldness in men and women. The company is in the process of documenting the safety and procedures for its hair regrowth technologies in human subjects. The long-term goal is to produce a procedure that is minimally invasive and will be able to cure multiple forms of hair loss disorders.

In 2003, Dr. McElwee and Hoffman at Phillips University in Marburg, Germany discovered dermal sheath cup cells had the ability to initiate mature hair follicles cell growth. Dermal sheath cup cells or DSC cells are the portion of the hair bulb located at the lower pole that appears to surround the bulb in a distinct cup like shape. These particular cells are capable of formation of new hair when grown in a proper medium. In their experiments, the researchers used Green fluorescent protein as the growth medium.

Part of their research discovered a method of identifying mesenchyme cells by use of these DSC cells. Mesenchyme is the embryonic tissue derived from the derma level and differentiates connective tissues. These MSCs are multipotent cells from tissues such as adipose tissue, adult muscle or dental pulp from baby teeth. These cells display a direct correlation to the cyclical process of hair cell growth. This was a tremendous breakthrough that coupled with other researchers findings became one of the baselines for medical research into hair regeneration.

This discovery led to applications worldwide for patents to produce a variety of products and to continue research in hair growth procedures. RepliCel has patented the process for claiming the DSCs and preparing them for replication. Once these cells have replicated in the thousands, they are injected into the necessary areas of the patient’s scalp.

There are several types of alopecia related causes of balding in men and women. This method of treatment is believed to be on track to treat many of these. The most common alopecia is androgenetic alopecia or pattern baldness. This is seen in men and women and is a genetic predisposition disorder. In some cases, it is believed that the follicle shrinks, which disallows the natural replication of hair in adjacent cells.

Yet, with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the civil outbreaks across the Middle East, the research for trauma induced alopecia. This is caused by burns, chemical trauma, scarring from skin cancer surgery and other surgical procedures. While RepliCel is thought of more in the field of hair regeneration, the research and product development applies to far more.

Traction alopecia is another common form of hair loss. Seen in men, women and children, this is caused by pulling on the hair. Some people do this when under stress and others when sleeping. The RepliCel procedures are working to regenerate hair in severe cases of this disorder.

Once the replicated cells are injected into the subject’s scalp area, researchers anticipate that they will produce follicles that match the patients’ cells. At that point, these follicles will initiate natural hair growth that is identical to the hair of the subject. There is early evidence that this particular process results in the hair-producing cells migrating into follicles that are adjacent to the new ones. What has also been revealed is that this migration only seeks out follicles that are in need of some kind of repair.

There is evidence that one of the causes for shrinking follicles is related to lack of or an overabundance of testosterone hormone indicators called androgens. Research has already shown that the injected replicated cells are not affected by the androgen process. This means that the new hair will not undergo shrinkage again. There is every hope that this methodology will become a permanent solution for this disease.

One of RepliCel’s proudest achievements is the current testing on human volunteers at the Scientific Research Institute for Skin and Venereal Disease in Tblisi, Ga. These clinical trials are focusing on the specific regenerative effects of DSC cell treatments in humans. In these trials the effort is for the purpose of replacing skin tissue by growing new skin from a patients own cellular structure. Additionally, the replication of hair growth in those with androgenetic alopecia is underway in the same study.

The primary purpose of these studies is to ascertain the safety of these injections in human bodies and if there are unexpected consequences or rejection issues as yet undiscovered. All of the volunteers at the Tblisi clinic undergo biopsies in order to properly document any issues before, after or during the process. RepliCel is not a drug treatment therapy. Yet, for the purpose of documentation RepliCel is following procedures outlined for pharmaceutical research studies. It is estimated that this formula for its research will allow the necessary FDA approval to be expedited when the research is completed.

 

Will 2012 Finally See Stem Cell Cure for Hair Loss?

Stem cell research has been the center of attention in the scientific world for the past few decades. This promising yet highly controversial research has also been the subject of many scientific debates. While it may hold the key to many incurable diseases, there is still a long way to go before a stem cell cure may be made available to the public.

For many years, a stem cell cure was completely out of question due to the controversies surrounding the topic because of its extensive use of embryonic stem cells and low success rate. However, more recently, scientists have been trying to revert differentiated cells from adult donors into their pluripotent form for the purpose of their research. However, to date, success rate of such research remains low.

A lot of research has been done regarding stem cells including their ability to cure hair loss. In a study conducted by the Hair and Scalp Clinics in Clearwater, Fla. researchers showed some promising results in people suffering from Alopecia Areata. The basis of this study is stem cell research and it uses the patient’s own platelet-rich plasma. Although, the study has shown some positive immediate effects, long-term effects and side effects remain unknown.

Another recent study reported by the Journal of Clinical Investigation has shown that some signals need to be sent to the stem cells for them to regenerate hair. In the event that scientists can do this, a cure may become possible. Currently though, this study has only been conducted on men, and it is not known as to how females may respond to this treatment. The aforementioned research may seem promising but before one has to consider the plethora of research that has already been done yet yielded no concrete stem cell cure for hair loss. Case in point, the research done by University of Pennsylvania’s school of Medicine in 2004, which managed to isolate stem cells responsible for hair follicle growth treatments. At that point of time, it was considered very promising and was featured in various scientific journals. However, so far it has not resulted in a practical hair loss treatment.

In conclusion, it’s unlikely that 2012 will see a stem cell cure for hair loss. However, the research is continuing slowly but steadily. Stem cell research is slowly uncovering the actual mechanisms behind hair loss… and the more scientists discover about what causes the minaturization that leads to baldness, the sooner they will be able to develop treatments that stop these mechanisms in their tracks and even reverse them.

That is why most experts still believe that stem cell research to cure hair loss still looks promising. The “cure” we are all searching for will NOT come this year, in 2012, but may well arrive in this decade, before 2020. Stay tuned!

Susan Thompson is a health writer who blogs about hair loss technologies.

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Hair Multiplication A Treatment for Hair Loss

Hair multiplication for hair loss/hair regrowth treatment is not the same as hair cloning. The hair cloning procedure is not approved for human testing or research at this point. The primary difference between cloning and multiplication is that cloning is done outside the body and multiplication is done in the scalp. Cloning uses genes and multiplication uses plucked hair or fragments of hair.

There are two methods for hair multiplication to stimulate hair regrowth. Both require implantation of donor hairs. In the first method, the idea is that when the donor hair is surgically placed into the scalp, the follicular cells in the scalp would regenerate. By doing this, the cells would activate the cells in the hair and cause multiplication of additional hair growth. In the second method, the same procedure is completed. The difference is that a stimulating drug is used activate additional cell growth. One problem seen in the second method is that the new growth come from the skin and not the hair follicle. The process has not been used long enough to determine if miniaturization will take place over time and kill the new hair.

What is being called “hair cloning” is in fact “hair cell implantation” if we want to be accurate. This method of hair regrowth has been developed by Dr. Amanda Reynolds and Dr. Collin Jahoda described this procedure in their paper “Trans-gender Induction of Hair Follicles.” The dermal sheath cells are removed and isolated from one person and then implanted into another person using injection techniques. These cells then stimulate creation of normal hair follicles. This treatment for hair loss can be done in greater numbers than the hair multiplication method.

The good news is that this treatment can be used for hair loss in women and the sheath cells can come from men. This is a huge breakthrough for women who experience hair loss disease. Repeat injections did not produce the anticipated rejection that is seen in other forms of multiplication methods – even when there was significant differences in genetic profiles.
Additionally, there were indications in the dermal sheath cell implantation that suggested that the skin of the recipient has some factor in the appearance of the hair. The hair regrowth may resemble the recipient’s natural hair more than that of that of the donor. This type of cell multiplication means that even those who are totally bald have the potential to regrow a full head of hair.

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