Scientists Develop New Hair Transplant

Scientists Develop New Hair Transplant

Posted: Updated:

Scientists think they have come up with a way to grow new hair from a person's skin cells.

Scientist unveiled the building blocks of a new hair follicle, tiny cells that tell our skin to grow hair.

For the first time, researchers at Columbia University Medical Center have coaxed them to work in the laboratory.

Angela Christiano is the lead researcher. She started losing her own hair in 1996 to a devastating condition called alopecia areata. It was hard enough for her to deal with as an adult.

"We can for the first time think about using a patient's own cells, expanding them and using them to grow many new hairs," Christiano said. "When it strikes in children and it leads to complete hair loss, I think it changes ones life in ways that are really difficult to understand unless you've walked in those shoes."

After 15 years, her life's work is finally yielding results. At first, the little cells weren't good at remembering what to do when they were harvested, but when she coaxed them into little droplets they suddenly started growing new hair follicles.

The discovery could turn the $3.5 billion a year baldness industry on its head.

Hair follicles could be grown in the lab for transplantation particularly for women who tend not to have enough donor hair. They could be added to skin grafts for burn victims - even injected directly into the scalp to treat receding hairlines.

Christiano believes she only needs a bit more research before beginning human trials.

"We need to understand how the hairs are colored, how they're shaped, are they textured right and most importantly, do they cycle," Christiano said.

The discovery also opens up a whole new field for drug research because hair follicles couldn't previously be grown in the lab, drug companies have had no way to test new pharmaceuticals to treat hair loss.

This changes all that in ways Christiano hopes will change lives.

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • Suspect Identified In Darby Wellness Center Shooting

    Suspect Identified In Darby Wellness Center Shooting

    Thursday, July 24 2014 6:48 PM EDT2014-07-24 22:48:28 GMT
    We are following breaking news in Darby, Pa. where one female employee is dead and two are wounded in a shooting at the Wellness Center on the Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital campus.
    We are following breaking news in Darby, Pa. where one female employee is dead and two are wounded in a shooting at the Wellness Center on the Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital campus.

  • Blind Horse Gets New Hope And Restored Vision In One Eye

    Blind Horse Gets New Hope And Restored Vision In One Eye

    Thursday, July 24 2014 6:41 PM EDT2014-07-24 22:41:34 GMT
    A blind draft horse will live to see retirement, thanks to surgeons at the University of Pennsylvania’s new Bolton center in Kennett square.
    A blind draft horse will live to see retirement, thanks to surgeons at the University of Pennsylvania’s new Bolton center in Kennett square.
  • 14 Men Arrested In Child Pornography Sweep

    14 Men Arrested In Child Pornography Sweep

    Thursday, July 24 2014 5:57 PM EDT2014-07-24 21:57:31 GMT
    A big child pornography sweep has caught 14 men, including two school bus drivers and a man who prosecutors say blackmailed a girl to strip on a webcam.
    A big child pornography sweep has caught 14 men, including two school bus drivers and a man who prosecutors say blackmailed a girl to strip on a webcam.
Powered by WorldNow

4739 NW 53rd Avenue, Sutie B
Gainesville, FL 32653

Phone: (352) 371-0051

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices