The iPS Cell Method: Stem Cells and Hair Regeneration

TAIPEI, TAIWAN, Jun. 30, 2021 – Balding is something that many people experience at some point in their life. According to statistics, over half of the population of both men and women experience some degree of hair loss. Hair follicles, the cells that make up one's hair. Are complicated sensory organs that also aid in temperature control and have various other health related functions. However, for many people, the loss of hair impacts their sense of self dignity. One of the most promising potential solutions to balding that has been presented in recent years is the iPS Cell method. Hair loss is largely caused by damage or the depletion of dermal papillary cells, which are the cells located at the bottom of hair follicles. These cells grow hair follicles as the result of a series of stem cells that regulate and produce new hair called DSCs. The iPS Cell method for reversing hair loss involves transplanting new, healthy cells created from a patient’s somatic cells, and using them to replace the damaged cells that regulate hair or produce hair cells. This technology shows incredible promise as a practical form of precision medicine based in genomics.



Methods of iPS Cell and Follicle Regeneration

Induced pluripotent stem cell technology was first developed by Shinya Yamanaka in 2006. This discovery revolutionized stem cell research and treatment because iPS cells are created from a patient’s own somatic cells. This provides a number of benefits and potential within the field of genomics because it solves both the ethical and feasibility issues that fetal stem cells had raised in the past. With the iPS Cell technology developed by Yamanaka, Alexey Terskikh and his team proposed the use of iPS Cells to induce dermal papillary mesenchymal cells in 2019. These specific cells are what regulates the growth of hair. While not the most apparent element of hair growth, hair growth functions based on a complicated system that stems from the interactions between skin cells and those mesenchymal cells. Inducing the function of mesenchymal cells resulted in hair growth in laboratory studies. Research on the topic of using the iPS Cell method to grow hair is a booming topic in genomics to this day. They each involve the use of iPS Cells to replace different cells and stem cells involved in growth of hair follicles.


Efficacy Rate

Each of these studies showed an overwhelmingly positive efficacy rate. Using the iPS Cell method to induce hair follicles had a high rate of success in both studies on rats and humans. However, this does not come without challenges. The primary struggle that comes with this process is that it is relatively easy to use iPS Cell transplants to replace the cells that enable hair to grow, but it is very difficult to grow hair that grows at the same rate the body naturally produces. The primary goal of current research is on how best to get these new cells to sync up with existing healthy cells that the patient has. Ideally, this will be accomplished in the near future with the combined effort of researchers and technology developers.


Future of iPS Cell

The field of genomics is one full of advancement and opportunity. Research such as the type being done on iPS Cell hair loss therapy is the perfect example of what is possible with genomics. It may seem like a pretty simple accomplishment, but the complexity of the human hair follicle system is a very difficult thing to replicate or restore. The concept of using iPS Cells in regenerative therapy is one with near limitless possibilities. It can be used for organ transplants, which would save countless lives. But the human body is a very complicated thing, and these advancements are only possible with advancements in technology. We here at WASAI are always proud to be able to highlight stories like this because we strive to develop the technology that can be used by researchers to accomplish these amazing feats.


References:

[1] Functional hair follicle regeneration: an updated review


[2] Immune modulation of hair follicle regeneration


[3] 這項諾貝爾獎技術,成功應用於治脫髮,被評為可徹底改變頭髮再生的重大突破



#GenomeSequencing #NextGenerationSequencing #LightningSolution #PrecisionMedicine



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