Will we be able to clone hair soon?
Moser Medical in Vienna has had an in-house research lab for 15 years. In an interview, research director Dr. Walter Krugluger shares current developments and looks toward the future.
Vienna, 3 March 2016.
Dr. Krugluger, what have been the most important results thus far to come out of Moser's research*?
Krugluger: If by "result" you are referring to finished products, that would be the Storage Solution, a nutrient solution used during treatment, and BioRegeneration, a spray to be used in the first days after a transplantation. Both encourage the growth of the transplanted hair and are an important part of any treatment at Moser Medical.
And what about the topic of cloning hair?
Krugluger: In 2002, our first experiments with this began and we achieved a breakthrough in 2005. It succeeded for the first time in a skin culture model that bred small hairs from isolated hair follicle cells. After that, in cooperation with international groups such as Beiersdorf and L'Oréal, precursors of hair ("spheroids") could be produced without a hair culture model, which is a first step toward the clinical application as a treatment for alopecia.
When will cloning be used in hair transplantation?
Krugluger: It may take years or decades for clinical applications to be possible. In the worst case scenario, it may never be possible to use these methods in a clinical application. There are currently no trusted reports on further advances in hair cloning beyond the spheroid stage. In our lab, we have initiated further studies on the development of spheroids. These experiments are ongoing.
So hair transplantation remains the same?
Krugluger: No, there are constantly improvements in the field, such as in extraction, preparation, and also the insertion of the hair! This is where experience plays an essential role. Our main focus in our research is the growth rate, as this ensures that a head of hair stays beautiful in the long run.
* Moser Medical regularly publishes research results in prestigious journals and presents at conferences. For example, in 2015 at the World Conference of the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (ISHRS) in Chicago on the topic "Gene Expression in Micrografts During Hair Restoration Surgery."
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