Scientists Develop New Hair Transplant - KMSP-TV

Scientists Develop New Hair Transplant

Posted: Updated:

Scientists think they have come up with a way to grow new hair from a person's skin cells.

Scientist unveiled the building blocks of a new hair follicle, tiny cells that tell our skin to grow hair.

For the first time, researchers at Columbia University Medical Center have coaxed them to work in the laboratory.

Angela Christiano is the lead researcher. She started losing her own hair in 1996 to a devastating condition called alopecia areata. It was hard enough for her to deal with as an adult.

"We can for the first time think about using a patient's own cells, expanding them and using them to grow many new hairs," Christiano said. "When it strikes in children and it leads to complete hair loss, I think it changes ones life in ways that are really difficult to understand unless you've walked in those shoes."

After 15 years, her life's work is finally yielding results. At first, the little cells weren't good at remembering what to do when they were harvested, but when she coaxed them into little droplets they suddenly started growing new hair follicles.

The discovery could turn the $3.5 billion a year baldness industry on its head.

Hair follicles could be grown in the lab for transplantation particularly for women who tend not to have enough donor hair. They could be added to skin grafts for burn victims - even injected directly into the scalp to treat receding hairlines.

Christiano believes she only needs a bit more research before beginning human trials.

"We need to understand how the hairs are colored, how they're shaped, are they textured right and most importantly, do they cycle," Christiano said.

The discovery also opens up a whole new field for drug research because hair follicles couldn't previously be grown in the lab, drug companies have had no way to test new pharmaceuticals to treat hair loss.

This changes all that in ways Christiano hopes will change lives.

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • Only On Fox: Arsonist On The Loose In South Jersey Town

    Only On Fox: Arsonist On The Loose In South Jersey Town

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 4:45 PM EDT2014-04-16 20:45:07 GMT
    It started with a brush fire, then another fire at the rear of this home on Monroe Street and finally a blaze that swept through this vacant home up the block, just a few feet away from where Emma Sethman
    It started with a brush fire, then another fire at the rear of this home on Monroe Street and finally a blaze that swept through this vacant home up the block, just a few feet away from where Emma Sethman
  • Beautiful Easter Sunday

    Saturday, April 19 2014 8:09 PM EDT2014-04-20 00:09:12 GMT

    NICE EASTER WEEKEND

    The first half of the holiday weekend has been great and Easter Sunday looks just as nice. Clouds thin out late tonight with temperatures falling back to the 40s.

    Initially it'll be jacket weather early Sunday morning but plenty of sunshine will warm us into the 60s by afternoon.  High temperatures will be a few degrees cooler than Saturday.

    It will be noticeably cooler and breezy at the shore with highs in the low 50s.  Quiet conditions continue into Monday.

  • Overturned Boat Victim Identified, Search Continues

    Overturned Boat Victim Identified, Search Continues

    Overturned Boat Victim Identified, Search Continues

    Saturday, April 19 2014 7:38 PM EDT2014-04-19 23:38:03 GMT
    The Coast Guard have suspended an emergency search for a man who went overboard in a boat after he went missing. New Jersey State Police have identified him as 49-year old John J. Poltonowicz.
    The Coast Guard have suspended an emergency search for a man who went overboard in a boat after he went missing. New Jersey State Police have identified him as 49-year old John J. Poltonowicz.
Powered by WorldNow

KMSP-TV
11358 Viking Drive
Eden Prairie, MN 55344

Phone: (952) 944-9999
Fax: (952) 942-0455

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices