3D Printing Can Improve The Problem Of Baldness!

Researchers at the Irving Medical Center at Columbia University have developed tissue engineering and 3D printing methods for growing new hair follicles to prevent hair loss. Researchers have grown human hair follicles in culture dishes and mice, and these hair follicles can be used to solve hair loss and baldness problems.

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In a recent study published in Nature Communications, researchers used the unique features of 3D printers to create a more natural microenvironment for hair follicle growth.The team used 3D printing technology to make plastic molds with a long, thin extension that was only 0.5 mm wide. Researchers say that previous manufacturing techniques could not create such a thin projection, so the innovation of 3D printing technology greatly facilitated the research.

The hair cells of the mouse are easily implanted into the mature hair follicles in the culture dish. However, human hair cells are substantially more difficult to use and have not previously been cultured in culture dishes or animal models. To solve this problem, the researchers studied new methods of implanting human hair follicles and skin structures.They created human skin constructs by patterning collagen and human fibroblasts to form a thin gel, and then using a long, narrow spoke 3D printing device to pattern deep, narrow pores into collagen gels. Dendritic progenitor cells that develop into hair follicles are then inoculated into the wells and supplemented with a mixture of biologically active factors to assist them in developing into mature hair follicles.

The researchers tested skin constructs by implanting them in immunodeficient nude mice. After 4-6 weeks, they observed the hair growth of the construct, noting that the hair structure of the tissue it created resembled human hair, and there were many similarities in biology.

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Angela Christian, principal researcher at the study, said they have shown that they can create a hair strand, a properly patterned hair mesh, and transplant it back to the same patient’s scalp. This expands the hair repair ability of all patients. Hair restoration surgery will no longer be limited by the number of donor hairs.Although the method still requires optimization, the artificial hair follicles produced in this manner can produce an infinite new source of hair follicles for patients undergoing hair restoration surgery. Hair restoration procedures require the transfer of up to 2,000 hair follicles from the back of the head to the front and top. Therefore, only male patients with stable hair loss and sufficient hair can receive treatment.

This artificial hair follicle can also be used by the pharmaceutical industry to screen new hair tonics. High-throughput screening of new drugs is currently limited due to the inability to culture human hair follicles in laboratory culture dishes. No drugs have been found through screening. Finasteride and Minoxidil, which were approved for the treatment of hair loss, were originally studied as a treatment for other conditions.

The team hopes to develop a high-throughput drug screening for hair farms to identify new ways to influence hair growth.