Organ replacement regenerative therapy is purported to enable the replacement of organs damaged by disease, injury, or aging in the foreseeable future. A research group led by Professor Takashi Tsuji (Professor in the Research Institute for Science and Technology, Tokyo University of Science, and Director of Organ Technologies Inc.) has provided a proof-of-concept for bioengineered organ replacement as a next stage of regenerative therapy.
Reporting recently, the group demonstrated that bioengineered hair follicle germ reconstructed from adult epithelial stem cells and dermal papilla cells can regenerate fully functional hair follicle and hair growth. Their bioengineered follicles showed restored hair cycles and piloerection through the rearrangement of follicular stem cells and their niches. The bioengineered hair follicle also developed the correct structures and formed proper connections with surrounding host tissues such as the epidermis, arrector pili muscle, and nerve fibers.
This study thus reveals the potential applications of adult tissue-derived follicular stem cells as a bioengineered organ replacement therapy.
Illustration: Scientists have demonstrated “functional hair regeneration from adult stem cells.” –Tokyo University of Science.
Research SEA News Release (04/18/12)
Science Daily (04/18/12)
e! Science News (04/18/12)
Abstract (Nature Communications; 3, 784 (04/17/12))