Recent research published in Acta Biomaterialia describes a technique to bioprint a gelatin-alginate hydrogel (GAH) that enables dermal papilla cells to regenerate entire hair follicles (HFs). It does so by successfully generating the microenvironmental cues for hair regrowth.
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Fibroblasts (FBs), human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs), dermal papilla cells (DPCs) and epidermal cells (EPCs) were encapsulated in the GAH and 3D-bioprinted into different layers of a scaffold. The scaffold was then transplanted in an animal model.
The substrate demonstrated suitable compatibility and increased the proliferation abilities of DPCs, and the dermal and epidermal cells self-assembled into immature HFs in vitro; these HFs were regenerated in the appropriate orientation in vivo. The authors concluded the scaffold could make a significant contribution in the medical management of hair loss and have broader applications in skin tissue and appendage engineering.
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