There is an increasing buzz throughout the medical world that is filtering down to the public regarding the possible benefits from stem cell medical treatments. Hair Restoration is not immune to the excitement that perhaps hair loss would be remedied in the near future from such an innovative medical treatment.
In my time as a research fellow at John Hopkins University Medical School, I had the opportunity to conduct research in the area of stem cells and hair growth. At this time I find it important to provide patients and the general public some basic knowledge of stem cells and regards to the possible effect on hair growth or alleviating hair loss.
Mesenchymal Stem Cells
Mesenchymal stem cells are pluripotent stem cells that are derived from the mesoderm and are destined to differentiate into a variety of connective tissue cells.
Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are generally responsible for making cells in bone, cartilage and fat tissue. A new study performed by Department of Histology and Embryology and Research Center of Developmental Biology Military Medical University in Shanghai that was conducted shows that Dermal Papilla cell which is one of the two types of hair stem cells is involved with the production and growth of a new hair (dermal papilla) could be also made from MSCs. The study was performed by Wu et. al proves that hair follicles could be made from other types of stem cells and not only specific hair stem cells. This concept could be a milestone in hair stem cell, hair multiplication or hair restoration fields.
These scientists discovered that Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells that usually make other cell lines in human posses the potential to differentiate into DP or hair stem cells in lab or in human scalp. Does it mean we can harvest a small amount of fat from a patient and transform it into hair follicles and implant them into a balding scalp? We need to have more evidence on the efficiency of this type of stem cell therapy through future research.
As advancements in stem cell research and procedures become known I will endeavor to continue US Hair Restoration’s efforts to be at the forefront of resolving hair loss for our patients.