Scientists from Berlin’s Technical University have announced that they have been successful in cloning hair follicles from stem cells for the first time.
The German scientists used stem cells from animals to create new hair follicles in a laboratory, something which has never before been achieved. Previous hair cell regeneration research by companies such as Aderans and Intercytex has used tissue from a patient’s own hair follicles to grow new cells capable of stimulating hair follicle re-growth, but this research using stem cells represents a remarkable breakthrough.
Clinical trial preparations “already in motion”
Though this latest German research used stem cells taken from animals, the scientists from the Technical University are confident that they can do the same with human stem cells in order to create human hair follicles within a year. Furthermore, they claim that a hair re-growth treatment utilising the technique could be available within five years, theoretically enabling those suffering from total baldness to re-grow a full head of hair. Speaking to German newspaper Die Welt, the project’s leader, Dr Roland Lauster, announced that the necessary groundwork for clinical trials to commence were, “already in motion.”
What are stem cells?
Stem cells are the building blocks of all living things. Every cell in the human body begins as a stem cell, or undifferentiated cell, before turning into any one of the body’s specialist cells, such as a blood cell, skin cell or muscle cell. In addition to this ability to change into any other cell, stem cells can also self-replicate. Because of these unique properties, the ability to manipulate them in a laboratory has long been heralded as a modern day panacea to all of mankind’s ills, from spinal injuries to cancer.
However, despite these intriguing and sensational claims, sceptics may look back at the long list of supposed ‘baldness cures’ announced in the past which have failed to materialise. Furthermore, stem cell research remains a grey moral area for many, and it may be some time before mainstream society is ready to accept its widespread use.
In addition to this, those with only partial hair loss are unlikely to see any benefits from such a treatment, as the underlying causes of their hair loss would remain. While this new research is interesting it is perhaps not the miracle baldness cure that some excited journalists have speculated it is.
Currently available hair re-growth treatments
Fortunately, hair loss sufferers need not wait to see if stem cell research is the real deal, as a number of proven and effective hair re-growth treatments are already available, such as the pharmaceutical products, Minoxidil and Propecia, the only treatments licensed by the MHRA and FDA. The Belgravia Centre uses these treatments and other highly effective ‘hair boosters’ in combination with close trichological monitoring to stabilise hair loss and provide significant levels of hair re-growth.
If you’ve experienced hair loss and wish to investigate what re-growth options are currently available, get in touch with Belgravia for a consultation or complete an online diagnosis form. Our success stories are testamony to the kind of regrowth results that so many treatment user achieve.