3D-Printed Cure for Baldness?
A new 3D printing technique could finally result in a cure for baldness.
While hair transplants, such as those had by England footballer Wayne Rooney, are possible, they involving a painstakingly long and expensive process.
New technology being developed by L’Oréal could lead to 3D printing of new hair follicles that are capable of sprouting new hair.
The cosmetics firm has teamed up with French bioprinting company Poietis in order to develop the groundbreaking technology.
Current tissue engineering techniques are limited in terms of cell patterns.
However, the two companies believe that they can crack the process needed to bioprint a hair follicle.
The technique, developed by Poietis, uses laser-assisted bioprinting tech to produce biological tissue and can ‘position cells in 3D with extremely high cellular resolution (on the order of ten microns) and cellular viability (over 95 per cent)’, according to a statement from L’Oréal.
‘Our partnership with L’Oréal should lead to the development of innovative applications in terms of tissue engineering,’ adds Bruno Brisson, general manager, and chief business officer.
The printer fires a laser at a cartridge containing ‘ink’.
Rather than the ink usually used, this substance is in the face a suspension of cells taken from alopecia patients after hair surgery.
The lasers sends a stream of these cells on to a substrate that is covered in nutrients to help the cells grow.
By doing this layer by layer, scientists believe they could grown something similar to a hair follicle.
The living biological tissue created is then matured for around three weeks before it can be used in tests.
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