Bioengineered Hair Follicles Take Root

Researchers, led by Koh-ei Toyoshima of the Tokyo University of Sciences, have grown transplanted hair on hairless mice using bioengineered follicles. Published in Nature Communications (April 17, 2012), the study involved intracutaneous transplantation of a bioengineered pelage and vibrissa follicle germ. The pelage had been reconstituted with embryonic skin-derived cells. The vibrissae were reconstituted with adult vibrissa stem cell region-derived cells. Following transplantation the researchers noted that “the bioengineered hair has the correct structures of the naturally occurring hair follicle and shaft, and it forms proper connections with surrounding host tissues, such as the epidermis arrector pili muscle and nerve fibers.” The transplanted follicles were able to undergo repeated hair cycles.

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