A recent experiment by the department of organ technologies at the Tokyo University of Science was successful at bioengineering hair follicle growth in bald mice. Though these images may look small in the scheme of bioengineering organs, the development is very important, both for those who would like to replace their 'rugs' with something more credible, and for the future of other bioengineered organ replacements.
Mouse sporting hair bioengineerd from adult stem cells: © Tokyo University of Science
Mouse sporting hair bioengineerd from adult stem cells (rear view): © Tokyo University of Science
Bioengineered hair from follicle in mouse: © Tokyo University of Science
The bioengineered hair follicle germ was reconstructed from adult epithelial stem cells and dermal papilla cells. This effort requires the cooperation of all of the host tissues, such as the epidermis, arrector pili muscle, nerve fibers to be successful. All associated systems cooperated with the bioengineered stem cells.
The next great movement in regenerative therapy for organ loss, whether the loss is due to disease, injury, or aging, will be bioengineered organs that are predicted to be much more efficacious than donor transplants because bioengineered regrowth of an organ does not encounter rejection from the host. The functional hair regeneration experiment is the Tokyo University of Science's 'proof-of concept' contribution to the field.
sources: Nature, ISSUE, via RDMag