Japanese researchers have successfully grown hair on hairless mice by implanting follicles created from adult stem cells, they announced Wednesday, sparking new hopes of a cure for baldness.
Led by professor Takashi Tsuji from Tokyo University of Science, the team bioengineered hair follicles and transplanted them into the skin of hairless mice.
The creatures eventually grew hair, which continued regenerating in normal growth cycles after old hairs fell out.
When stem cells are grown into tissues or organs, they usually need to be extracted from embryos, but Tsuji and his researchers found hair follicles can be grown with adult stem cells, the
Bioengineered organs may redefine transplants for humans someday, and even allow damaged organs to regenerate.
Northwestern University researchers are in the beginning stages of bioengineering tissues and entire organs from stem cells of adult rats and mice, said Dr. Jenny Zhang. Zhang directs the Microsurgical Core within the Comprehensive Transplant Center at Feinberg.
Once engineered, Zhang said her team will be able to test the functionality of such organs as transplants in the rodents. For now, Zhang and fellow researchers are using a biodegradable scaffold, a kind-of-skeleton of an organ with all living cells removed, to test the model.
By developing a