Researchers at Columbia University have for the first time managed to grow hair entirely in a laboratory setting. In the long term, this will help solve one of the pressing problems of cosmetology medicine: where to get enough material for hair transplantation, if there are no longer any left on the patient's own body? An innovative type of 3D printing came to the rescue.
Three-dimensional printing was required to create "beds" - areas in the form of a thin film with holes for hair follicles that mimic the skin. The hole size is less than 0.5 mm, which was extremely difficult to reproduce in 3D printing before the advent of new types of ultra-precise printers. After the "bed" is printed, follicles are planted in it and their growth begins.
For effective hair growth, a newest inhibitor, a substance called "JAK-STAT", is used. It acts on hair stem cells, awakens them from "hibernation". As hair grows, it fills the pores and is firmly embedded in the base - all that remains is to wait for a stable bond to form. After that, the film with hair is removed from the laboratory unit and transplanted to the patient, like a normal skin with hair.
The method is experimental and will not soon be presented as a commercial service to combat hair loss. Scientists are primarily interested in the possibility of quickly obtaining hair samples for experiments, testing new drugs, treatment and treatment methods. But, in the long term, this technology can lead to the rejection of donor hair altogether - even wigs can simply be "grown in a test tube."