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Cure for baldness on the horizon

Kathleen Blanchard's picture
Researchers a step closer to curing baldness

Stanford-Burnham Medical researchers are getting close to curing baldness using stem cells. The next step is to test the process on humans.


Results of a study published in the journal PLOS One describes how the scientists used pluripotent stem cells to generate new hair.

Stem cells offer unlimited potential for hair regrowth

Alexey Terskikh, Ph.D., associate professor in the Development, Aging, and Regeneration Program at Sanford-Burnham said in a press release: "Our stem cell method provides an unlimited source of cells from the patient for transplantation and isn't limited by the availability of existing hair follicles." Terskikh adds the process is an improvement over hair transplant that relies on existing hair follicles.

The researchers used a method that turns human pluripotent stem cells into dermal papilla cells that regulate hair growth and then they tested the results in mice. The scientists injected the stem cells under the skin of mice

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The next step is testing stem cells in humans. According to the study authors more than 40 million men and 21 million women are affected by hair loss in the United States. Transplanting mice to grow new hair is the first step toward a cure for baldness and thinning hair in humans.


Gnedeva K, Vorotelyak E, Cimadamore F, Cattarossi G, Giusto E, et al. (2015) Derivation of Hair-Inducing Cell from Human Pluripotent Stem Cells. PLoS ONE 10(1): e0116892. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0116892

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