Hope for the bald
Berlin – German bioengineers have grown the world’s first hair follicle from autologous stem cells in vitro. Lead investigator Roland Lauster (TU Berlin) said the discovery will speed up research on the causes of baldness, but could also lead to a better success rate in hair transplantation. According to the professor, who has received state funding to commercialise his findings, the cultivation of hair follicles also has potential in skin toxicity testing. While Lauster is preparing for clinical testing of his approach, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania have discovered that bald people carry sufficient numbers of stem cells but cannot differentiate them into progenitor cells (JCI, doi: 10.1172/JCI44478).