Category Archives: Adipose-Derived Stem Cells (ADSC)

Nanofat and Adipose Tissue Hair Growth

I have written numerous posts in relation to fat cells (adipose tissue) and hair growth. There is clear evidence that adipose-derived stem cells (ADSC) on the scalp impact hair growth. The latest trend at hair clinics entails combination nanofat and platelet-rich plasma (PRP) hair growth treatments. Note that instead of nanofat, some also use the term microfat transfer or grafting.

Update: October 2021 — Emerging role of dermal white adipose tissue in modulating hair follicle development during aging.

Nanofat Injections for Hair Growth

Nanofat Injection Hair Growth
Nanofat for Hair Growth.

During several of last year’s hair loss conferences, a number of presentations entailed nanofat injections into the scalp. Most of these fat and adipose-derived stem cell related topics are classified under “stem cell” treatments for hair loss. Note that adipose-derived stem cells (ADSCs) are mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs)

Nanofat injections have been used for many years when it comes to regenerative medicine applications. Usage in hair loss sufferers is more recent. A 2020 study from China found human-derived concentrated nanofat promoted hair growth in mice. The mechanism of action entails activation of dermal papilla cells via the Wnt/β-catenin pathway. Also of interest, a clinical trial from China that tested nanofat grafting for treating androgenetic alopecia ended last year. I am guessing that the results will be published this year.

Perhaps the first study to find benefits from nanofat in male pattern hair loss sufferers came from Italy in 2017. These gains in hair growth lasted even 12 months after initial treatment. The fat was obtained via liposuction using the Tulip Nano device. Also from Italy, Dr. Piero Tesauro is a leading practitioner of nanofat transplantation.

In the US, doctors are increasingly offering combination treatments that include PRP and nanofat. According to Dr. Cheryl Karcher:

“When nanofat is used for hair restoration, she injects it first. She then injects the patient’s PRP on top of it to act as a fertilizer for the nanofat.”

However, in the same article, Dr. Robert Singer warns that there is as yet no safety or efficacy data surrounding nano-fat treatment for hair growth. It should be noted that the somewhat related SVF/Kerastem treatment has shown promising results.

Dermal Adipose Tissue Promotes Hair Growth and Pigmentation

Also of interest, a January 2021 study found that dermal adipose tissue secretes hepatocyte growth factor (HGF). This in turn promotes both human hair growth and hair pigmentation. Among the co-authors of this paper include Dr. Ralf Paus (see Monasterium) and Dr. Maksim Plikus (see Plikus Lab).

What was especially interesting to me in this new 2021 paper was a link to a 2019 paper. Apparently, autologous fat grafting to the face can in rare instances lead to unwanted hair growth (hirsutism). Further evidence of the connection between adipose cells and hair cells.

Fat Grafting Hair Growth
Hirsutism from facial autologous fat grafting. Source: Karger.

Adipose-Derived Stem Cell Constituent Extract

It has been a while since I wrote a post related to adipose-derived stem cells (ADSCs) and hair growth. Adipose cells are also called fat cells.

Adipose‐Derived Stem Cell Constituent Extract

A potentially groundbreaking new study from South Korea was published yesterday. Thanks to Chris and Joe who both e-mailed me with links. This study concluded that adipose‐derived stem cell constituent extract (ADSC‐CE) helps hair regrowth in patients with androgenetic alopecia.

Adipose-derived stem cell constituent extract (ADSC-CE) and hair growth.
Adipose-derived stem cell constituent extract (ADSC‐CE) treatment increased hair count and hair thickness in the study. © 2020 Tak/Lee/Cho/Kim — Stem Cells Translational Medicine, published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of AlphaMed Press.

According to the authors, this is the first time that ADSC‐CE and its benefits on hair growth have been demonstrated via a a randomized, double‐blind, vehicle‐controlled clinical trial. Many other past studies have shown the benefits of ADSC (often via intradermal injections) on male and female pattern hair loss sufferers.

This latest study was widely covered in the media, including by the Daily Mail and New Atlas. The trial was conducted at Busan (Pusan) National University Yangsan Hospital and led by Dr. Sang Yeoup Lee. The actual trial was completed in 2016, so I am not sure why results were delayed till 2020.

The study was published in the journal Stem Cells Translational Medicine. The famous Dr. Anthony Atala is editor-in-chief of  this journal. He is quoted as saying that this treatment offers hope to hair loss sufferers.

ADSC-CE Before and After Hair Growth.
ADSC-CE hair growth photo at 8 weeks and 16 weeks. One of the four results presented in the study.

Hair counts (+28.1%) and hair diameter (+14.2%) both increased substantially in 34 patients who completed the study. Original patient enrollment was 29 men and nine women. Encouragingly, these results persisted 16 weeks post treatment, with no major side effects. The treatment entailed twice‐daily self‐application of an ADSC‐CE topical solution all over the scalp.

The authors assumed that ADSC‐CE is likely to penetrate scalp tissue more than existing products that are manufactured using conditioned media (ADSC‐CM).

Adipose (Fat) Cells and Hair Growth

A lot evidence on the benefits of fat cell injections upon hair has been accumulating over the past decade. Even as far back as 1954, there was a study published suggesting a connection between scalp thickness, fat loss and balding.

I have written around 10 posts in the past that cover ADSC and closely related subjects, although none in the past couple of years.

For example:

  • See my past post on Stromal Vascular Fraction (SVF) enhanced adipose transplantation and the STRAAND clinical trials.
  • And on Advanced adipose-derived stem cell protein extract (AAPE).
  • Also see my past posts on Kerastem and the company’s STYLE clinical trials.
  • I have also analyzed important work from Dr. Valerie Horsley’s lab regarding adipocytes and their essential role in  hair follicle regeneration. Last year, I also discussed fat layer loss and tightness in balding scalps.