Hair Loss Finds A Solution in the Form Of Cloned Hair Follicles!
Hair loss leading to balding has been ruining the lives of several men and women throughout the world. Although many techniques have been proposed and tested on humans, each of it has had its own hurdles and disadvantages and failed to regrow the lost hair.
Several studies conducted throughout the world have succeeded in cloning a single hair taken from the scalp to produce multiple copies of it but in limited amounts.
These cloned follicles were then implanted into the soles of the mice feet as the first trial to check the efficiency of the technique. Trials on humans are yet to begin.
Scientists from Berlin Technical University, Intercytex (a British company), St Vincent’s hospital and the University of Melbourne have cloned the hair and produced nearly 2 clones from a single hair follicle. They are working towards increasing the number of clones from a single hair follicle.
According to Rod Sinclair, the research team head at St Vincent’s hospital, they are yet to find a way which enables them to produce at least 1000 clones from a single hair.
Cloning begins with the extraction of hair follicle stem cells from the scalp. These are then multiplied in the laboratory and once ready, they are implanted back into the scalp. The copies created should have the right length, right thickness, right angle and the right degree of curliness to be implanted.
This is quite challenging because as the numbers of clones increase, the ability to induce new hair follicles is lost. Moreover, the difficulty in cloning lies in the fact that a hair strand with its follicle is a complete organ just like a liver or lung. Also, the weak nature of human stem cells adds to the challenge.
In spite of these challenges, scientists are anticipating the first human trial in the next 2 years, the positive results in mice being the encouraging factor.