Cell therapy is one of the most exciting areas of medical research today.
‘Hair follicle cloning’ or more correctly ‘tissue engineering’ or ‘cell therapy’. are terms used to describe the process by which large numbers of hair follicles can be manufactured in a laboratory using a single hair follicle donated by an individual.
Cell therapy consists of inserting into an embryonic cell, all the genes which create an organism. These ‘cultured cells’ are exact copies of the organism and may be placed into a patient to correct a particular condition.
It is anticipated that this process will one day enable hair follicles to be multiplied in the laboratory and placed back into the balding scalp. It may be possible to create thousands of hair follicles from the one donor follicle.
The tissue engineering phenomenon has already been demonstrated in humans. However, hair-follicle ‘cloning’ research is currently still in the preliminary stages and there are obstacles to be surmounted in order to make this treatment safe and effective e.g. will the implanted cells produce hair cosmetically identical to the original hair?
The world’s thinning haired population awaits what could be the most amazing invention since the wheel.
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