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STEMCELL : Cure for baldness? Stem cells bring hope.

According to the American Hair Loss Association, two-thirds of men will experience hair loss by the age of 35. But women are also affected, making up 40% of all hair loss sufferers. Affecting self-image and emotional well-being, the condition has been a difficult one to treat. But a 2014 study brings hope - in the form of human hair-follicle-generating stem cells.

Researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania published results of their study in Nature in January 2014, where they describe the method by which they were able to convert adult cells into epithelial stem cells (EpSCs).Although using stem cells to regrow hair follicles has been a potential technique for combatting baldness, until now, nobody has been able to produce enough of these cells. The team says they are the first to achieve this result in either humans or mice. Led by Dr. Xiaowei "George" Xu, associate professor of pathology and laboratory medicine and dermatology at the University of Pennsylvania, the scientists started their research by using human skin cells called dermal fibroblasts.

The researchers converted the human skin cells into induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) by adding three genes. These iPSCs are able to change into any cell types in the body, so the researchers converted them into epithelial stem cells, which are normally found in a part of hair follicles.

Hair shafts
The arrows show hair shafts, which were formed by iPSC-derived epithelial stem cells.Using techniques from other research teams to convert iPSCs into keratinocytes - a main cell type in the top layer of the skin - Dr. Xu and colleagues showed they could "force" the iPSCs to make large quantities of EpSCs by controlling the timing of growth factors the cells received.When they implanted these EpSCs into mice, the cells regenerated cell types of human skin and hair follicles, and also created recognizable hair shafts, which the team says shows promise for eventually regrowing hair in humans. In 18 days, 25% of the iPSCs converted into EpSCs, which were then purified using the proteins expressed on their surfaces, the team notes.

Technique 'not yet ready for humans'

After mixing the human-derived EpSCs with dermal cells from mice, the team grafted them onto the skin of the mice and produced a functional human epidermis - the outermost layers of the skin. The hair follicles that were produced from this, notes the team, were structurally similar to human hair follicles.Dr. Xu says that this is the first time anyone has made scalable amounts of epithelial stem cells that are capable of generating the epithelial component of hair follicles,adding that the cells could aid in wound healing, cosmetics and hair regeneration. However, these cells are not yet ready for use in humans because the team has only solved one part of the equation. A hair follicle contains both epithelial cells and a certain kind of adult stem cell called dermal papillae.

Pluripotent stem cells used to generate hair growth

We all lose hair - around 50-100 hairs each day, on average. But for some people, hair loss can be much more severe, causing partial or complete baldness. The most common form of hair loss, also referred to as alopecia, is hereditary hair loss, in which a person inherits the condition from their mother or father. This affects more than 50 million men and 30 million women in the US. Other causes of hair loss include extreme stress, medical conditions - such as thyroid disorders, anemia and psoriasis - and use of certain medications. Current treatments for hair loss include hair restoration medication, though the results vary in each patient. Another treatment is hair transplantation, which involves removing hair follicles from one area of the head with normal hair growth and placing them in an area that lacks growth.

In this latest study, Alexey Terskikh, PhD, associate professor in the Development, Aging and Regeneration Program at Sanford-Burnham, and colleagues reveal how they effectively grew new hair using human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) - cells derived from human embryos or human fetal tissue that can become any other cell type in the body. They say the technique - detailed in the journal PLOS ONE - has the potential to be more effective than current hair transplant methods. Dermal papilla cells derived from hPSCs induced hair growth in mice. Terskikh and colleagues created a technique that encouraged hPSCs to turn into dermal papilla cells, which are responsible for regulating the formation of hair follicles and the hair growth cycle.

On transplanting these dermal papilla cells into mice, the team found they successfully induced new hair growth. The researchers note that because adult dermal papilla cells cannot be gathered in large quantities and quickly lose their ability to trigger hair follicle formation in culture, they are unsuitable for hair transplants. But these findings suggest a technique that may get around this problem. Terskikh says:

We have developed a method using human pluripotent stem cells to create new cells capable of initiating human hair growth. The method is a marked improvement over current methods that rely on transplanting existing hair follicles from one part of the head to another. Our stem cell method provides an unlimited source of cells from the patient for transplantation and isnt limited by the availability of existing hair follicles.

The researchers say they now plan to transplant the hPSC-derived dermal papilla cells back into humans to test their effectiveness. We are currently seeking partnerships to implement this final step adds Terskikh. There are some major advancements happening in treatment for hair loss. In August 2014, Medical News Today reported on a study claiming a bone marrow disease drug restored hair loss in patients with alopecia areata - a disease in which the immune system attacks the hair follicles. In another study, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania revealed how they created hair-follicle-generating stem cells, which show potential for regrowing hair in humans.

For the right patient, Having the right hair proportion and scalp characteristics, hair transplant surgery can be a life changing hair transplant cosmetic procedure. However, not every hair loss sufferer is a good candidate for surgical hair restoration or hair transplantation. Its important to fully understand the criteria that makes a good hair transplant candidate in order to make a better informed decision when considering surgical hair restoration. What a prospective hair transplant patient needs to remember is that there is a finite amount of donor hair that can be moved to the balding areas of the scalp, and If this hair isnt used in a prudent and efficient manner with hair transplant procedure, the outcome of the procedure will not meet a patients expectations. Do not underestimate the importance of discussing these issues with your hair transplant surgeon or hair transplant expert during your consultation. Providing the hair transplant surgeon/hair transplant expert with your honest expectations can better help him explain the reality of your particular situation why you need hair transplant, and discuss whether or not undergoing a hair transplant procedure is right for you. Its also important to note that the approach of surgically keeping up with your hair loss is not a practical way to address most patients situations. Unfortunately, this mentality has evolved through the flashy and high pressure, late night marketing that has been the cornerstone of the less than ethical side of the hair transplant industry. Having small procedures early on in the hair loss process can be disastrous. Many young men and women are mislead by this marketing approach and are forced to deal with the emotional and physical consequences of falling into this trap. Patients in the early ages of hair loss, who have a significant amount of hair run the risk of "shock loss" caused by the trauma of the surgical procedure. While in most cases, the native hair that was shocked out will return, it can take many months to appreciate the full result of the surgery, causing distress to those who are affected by this. In some cases the young patient might be left with less hair then before the procedure. Understanding who makes the right candidate for surgical hair restoration is vitally important during the decision making process. Consulting with a skilled and ethical hair transplant surgeon/ hair transplant expert will make this process easier. In general, the best candidates for hair transplant surgery are: Men who have been losing their hair due to genetic hair loss for more than four years, or who have progressed to a Norwood class III or above with hair loss. Men with realistic expectations who understand that their hair loss might continue to progress even if they are taking prescription medication to stop the progression. Men who have been balding for many years and whos pattern of loss has stabilized. Men and women who have lost hair due to trauma or burns. Men and women who have lost hair or who’s hairlines were raised due to other cosmetic procedures such as face-lifts and brow lifts. Women with stable donor hair who exhibit more of a male pattern, than a female diffuse unpatterned hair loss. Anagen and Hair Translant in Mumbai Video Gallery Always Authentic. We’re proud of our work and always feature real, natural photos & videos with no airbrushing. Hair transplants can have a remarkable impact on an individual’s appearance after successful procedure,be proud of the new way you feel of yourselves. We are proud to share before-and-after hair transplant videos of our real patients so you can see the kind of results you can expect from our unique hair transplant procedure with FUT and FUE hair transplant technique.