New Delhi: Scientist at India’s premier tech Institute Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)- Delhi IIT have created mini organs that look like hair and can be of varied stages of growth as required. Scientists from IIT Delhi have developed a silk-based hydrogel that emulates the process of hair growth and this innovation can help new drugs for treating hair loss to avoid using animal tests, Indian news agency PTI reported.
The study in this regard which was recently published in the Journal of Cellular Physiology shows how the three-dimensional mini organs can mimic the different stages of hair growth in humans. The study notes that ‘alopecia’ a condition that occurs due to abnormal growth cycle or reduction in the size of hair follicles is the major reason contributing to permanent hair loss. Numerous oils, creams, and medicines are commercially available but successful treatment of alopecia is still a far-fetched dream, it added.
“The major reason for such inefficiency is there is no suitable human cell-based in vitro models available for drug testing. The currently available anti-alopecia drugs and cosmetics are tested on animals," Sourabh Ghosh, an associate professor at IIT-D told media while elaborating upon the new findings.
But, due to the differences in the immunology and physiology amongst animals and humans drastically limit the success of such drugs. We strongly felt the need to develop an ideal three dimension in vitro model of hair follicle using human cells. Since we have already successfully tested the action of a model hair regeneration drug (minoxidil) in our lab based hair follicle model, we strongly feel that our hair follicle model is ready to be used by companies to test their products, he added.
Hair loss is a common ailment across the world and a number of factors including genes, illness, trauma and surgeries can lead to temporary or permanent hair loss as well.