Researchers at Columbia University are using scaffolds and stem cells to grow hair follicles in the lab for the first time. Currently, people suffering from hair loss have to resort to transplanting fully grown hair follicles from another area of the body in order to restore hair growth. Though this process has been refined over time, it still requires a painful extraction process and poses certain risks. The new method utilizes a 3D printed scaffold structure that mimics the micro environment of hair follicles, improving hair growth and maximizing the efficiency of the transplants. Additionally, researchers are using a new combination of growth factors that effectively stimulate hair growth by suppressing factors that keep hair follicles dormant and therefore lead to baldness.
“[The new method] expands the availability of hair restoration to all patients--including the 30 million women in the United States who experience hair thinning and young men whose hairlines are still receding," says lead author of the study, Angela Christiano. This study represents a trend in regenerative medicine to use 3D printing techniques in conjunction with stem cells to create more efficient, long-term solutions for patients suffering from a variety of afflictions.
This innovative research demonstrates the integral role stem cells are playing in cutting edge medical care options. By banking their own valuable stem cells, families can ensure that they will have access to these emerging therapies in the near future. To learn more about banking stem cells, please visit StemSave or call 877-783- 6728 (877-StemSave) today.
The Future of Regenerative Medicine is Now™
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