With hair restoration systems becoming increasingly popular across the globe, scientists are continually researching new therapies and technologies to enhance hair restoration and improve refined surgery in order to meet its growing demand. Presently, follicular cell implantation, also known as hair duplication or hair cloning, is generating lots of buzzes. It is considered as the hair loss therapy that holds the potential to harness the capabilities of cell power to restore lost hair.

The Constant Research in the Field of Hair Duplication

While hair duplication is still years away from facilitating men as well as women suffering from hair loss, doctors are motivated by the cell therapy research executed over the past decade and its potential in fighting hair loss. In the year 2013, the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery conducted a Practice Surgery in which people were asked their thoughts with regards to the next technological growth in the field of hair restoration, and hair duplication was the most common answer by the members. In fact, 53% of the survey members believed that this technique holds immense potential to treat hair loss.

Over the last decade, research in cell therapy in order to promote hair growth has already witnessed tremendous evolution. Now the research is essentially focused on using the cells that are not associated with hair growth in order to develop folliculogenesis stem cells to facilitate re-growth.

In researchers that were carried out earlier, experts illustrated that cells from the individual’s hair follicles would be taken out, duplicated in cell ecosystems and then used therapeutically. In the simplest of this technique, the dissociated cultured cells are transplanted into the scalp with an expectation that it would create new follicular neogenesis (new follicles). In the past, many scientists have tried to accomplish this technique, but none of them has been successful in doing so.

Other methods to prompt hair growth that were studied include cell implantation, where they attach themselves to existing follicles and provide properties of the donor cells to the miniaturizing follicles and facilitating the follicular neogenesis process in culture dishes or in animals that would act as intermediate hosts. In the latter methods, the implantation can be executed by using the standard hair transplant process where bio-engineered grafts are placed into the patient’s recipient sites.

In the past, patient’s hair follicles were also considered as the source for cells; however, this came with certain challenges, especially the formation of epithelial stems by its core nature comes in short supply.

The Latest Development in this Domain

In a new report, which was published at the beginning of this year researchers for the first time succeeded in transforming induced pluripotent stem cells that mirror embryonic stem cells in their capability to differentiate into epithelial stem cells that can general standard epithelial layers. Additionally, when these cells were amalgamated with dermal cells and inserted into immunodeficient mice, they developed hair follicles that include all standard markers.

It surely is exciting news and significant development in this field. However, the process of using a normal body cell and evolving it into a hair developing epithelial stem cell comes with various steps using agents that change the normal genetic characteristics, thereby increasing the concerns of the development of a tumor.

Considering the progressions made in the field of hair duplication, it is safe to speculate that in a matter of a few years researchers would develop an effective method to create hair-inductive dermal cells from other types of cells. It will take a significant time to test these phenomena; however, with every passing year, the field is getting closer to conceptualizing this futuristic idea.