Category Archives: Dermal Papilla Cells

Han Bio Hair Multiplication via Dermal Papilla Cells

At the end of March, I read about a new South Korean company named Han Bio. Apparently, this company has managed to successfully develop a dermal papilla cell culturing technology. If true, this would represent a hair loss cure.

Update: Another article from March 2021, where they refer to the CEO using a different name (Kang David).

“By collecting 50 to 100 healthy hair follicle tissues from the back of a patient suffering from hair loss, extracting the dermal papilla cells, cultivating them, and transplanting them back to the head, we can fundamentally cure hair loss.”

Of course at first I was incredulous. However, after further research, I decided that I should at least take the company semi-seriously. Han Bio’s blog is especially extensive. Some hair related articles on there go into many pages, so be sure to navigate thoroughly (after translation).

Note that when I contacted the company, they directed me to the above blog.

South Korea: Groundbreaking Hair Loss Treatments

South Korea is a world leader when it comes to plastic surgery and cosmetic procedures. When it comes to treating hair loss, South Korea is especially impressive in developing and/or using new technologies. For example:

  • South Korea is one of only two countries in the world where Dutasteride has been approved for treating hair loss.
  • The work of Dr. Kang-Yell Choi and CK Biotech in developing PTD-DBM to target CXXC5.
  • PGD2 inhibition technology via Stemore.
  • DKK-1 research and patent for locally-based Bioneer.
  • My favorite: Allogeneic Person-to-Person Hair Transplants.
  • South Korean companies are also at the forefront of developing stem cell related products, including AAPE and ADSC. Most such currently available products likely have limited to no benefits towards hair growth.
  • Finasteride injections.
  • A disproportionate amount of research when it comes to hair growth from natural products. Especially from sea vegetables and algae.

Han Bio’s Dermal Papilla Cell Storage and Culturing

Note that Han Bio is also called Hanmo Bio and Hanbio Group in news articles and on the company’s site. The externally located blog has some lengthy posts regarding this new technology. Some include images and video (screenshots further below).

In December 2020, Han Bio introduced its dermal papilla cell storage service called HDPC-480. The list price is 4.8 million South Korean Won ($4280 at current exchange rates). They offer a steep discount for the first 500 patients.

Note that in the western world, we have a similar option available via HairClone (UK). Moreover, HairClone has already been active for several years.

Han Bio Dermal Papilla Cell Storage
Dermal Papilla Cell Storage. HDPC-480 procedure from Han Bio.

According to the balding CEO Kang Da-Witt:

“Han Bio has secured technologies to separate and regroup the dermal papilla cells in hair follicles. It would take just a single strand of a patient’s hair to cultivate enough cells to reproduce around 30,000 hair strands.”

The company’s method is described as “chopping separation technology” after translation from Korean into English.

Han Bio has finished construction of its first plant, where the company stores and cultivates patient dermal papilla cells. These can then be cultured, multiplied and then implanted into the same patient via a hair transplant. This new plant will open by the end of May 2021.

Han Bio Clinical Trials and Patents

Han Bio Presentation
Han Bio video presentation screenshot.

Han Bio will start clinical trials in the second half of 2021. According to CEO Kang Da-witt, he expects that the time required for clinical trials will be shortened. This is due to a favorable new South Korean law which became effective on August 28, 2020. It is designed to help fast-track the market entry of regenerative medicine and biologics related products. Similar to Japan’s fast-track laws.

Han Bio is now preparing to apply for patents in the US, Japan and China. The are also open to out-licensing the technology.

Transplanting Someone Else’s Dermal Papilla Cells

From Han Bio’s extensive blog, one FAQ section caught my eye. It seems like the parent company of “Hanmo Bio” has successfully transplanted hair stem cells from one person to another. Without any immune reactions.

Dermal Papilla Transplant
Dermal Papilla Cell Transplant from Another Person.

Obviously, this all sounds way too good to be true. But I have to prognosticate.

Asian countries dominate the world in the manufacturing of nano-scale semiconductors, microchips and integrated circuits. Perhaps our invisible-to-the-eye dermal papilla cells are next?

3D Culturing of Hair and Dermal Papilla Cells

When it comes to hair cloning and tissue engineering, 3D culturing related research is booming. The 3D culturing of cells can occur via scaffold techniques or via scaffold free techniques such as 3D spheroids.

Update: July 28, 2020

Recent Studies on 3D Culturing of Hair Cells

Over the past few months, a number of studies have come out in relation to 3D culturing of hair cells (in particular, dermal papilla cells). Below, I list them from most recent to oldest.

July 27, 2020 — A new study from North Carolina State University compared 3D versus 2D cultured dermal papilla cells. The 3D dermal papilla cells in a scaffold performed best in regrowing hair. More interestingly, the scientists also studied microRNAs (miRNAs) in dermal exosomes from both the 2D and 3D DP cells. The team then identified one (miR-218-5p) in particular as a key promoter of hair growth. Per lead study investigator Dr. Ke Cheng, the best part is that MiRNAs can be developed into small molecule-based drugs, including creams. A much easier feat in comparison to cell growth, expansion and injection.

June 16, 2020 — Several people in the comments mentioned a new paper titled: “Generation of human hair follicle organoids in vitro and ex vivo by co-culture of primary human hair matrix keratinocytes and dermal papilla fibroblasts”. One of the co-authors of this paper is Dr. Ralf Paus. This experiment succeeded in human scalp skin and not just in mice (h/t reader “Joe”).

April 28, 2020 — Culturing human hair follicle dermal papilla cells in a 3D self-assembling peptide scaffold. The results of this study suggest a new potential 3D culture platform based on a self-assembling peptide scaffold called RAD16-I. This method successfully created hair follicle dermal papilla cells.

3D Culturing Hair Follicles
3D Culturing of Hair Follicles and Dermal Papilla Cells. Source: Wiley Online Library.

April 15, 2020 — A new paper on reconstructed human skin with working hair follicles. Co-authors include the renowned Dr. Roland Lauster and Dr. Gerd Lindner.

The results section has an interesting part titled “Comparison of cultured neopapillae spheroids with scalp hair dermal papillae”. Several of the images of the 3D cultured hair follicles are shown on the right. Neopapillae spheroids were constructed from expanded self‐aggregating dermal papilla cells.

December 26, 2019Tissue engineering strategies for human hair follicle regeneration. This review analyzes the various research approaches being developed to tackle hair follicle bioengineering. Lots of discussion about 3D culturing, various types of scaffolding and dermal papilla trichogenicity. For the scientifically inclined readers, Table 1 is quite useful and I am pasting a small part of it here:

Hair Follicle Tissue Engineering Approaches

December 13, 2018 — An important paper with Dr. Angela Christiano, Dr. Colin Jahoda and Dr. Etienne Wang as co-authors. They created 3D-printed hair follicle molds using a biomimetic approach. I covered this work in detail in my 2018 post on biomimetic tissue engineering of hair follicles.


October 22, 2013

3D Spheroid Culturing of Dermal Papilla Cells

This week seems to be full of interesting developments, but the below news made all the global headlines.

Dr. Angela Christiano (Columbia University — US) and Dr. Colin Jahoda (Durham University — UK) just released their latest findings on hair follicle culturing. Their main discovery involves using a “hanging-drop” method of 3D spheroid culturing of dermal papilla cells. As opposed to a regular 2D petri dish culturing method that had failed in the past.

This new 3D method has shown significant success. However, it is still a years away from being able to be used in humans with consistent and safe results.

Media Coverage

For more, see this video with the hair follicle blessed Dr. Christiano. Edit: Per the Fox News video in the link at the bottom, it seems like she wears a wig and suffers from Alopecia Areata.

An audio interview from BBC with Dr. Colin Jahoda

And now some other links to their findings:

Article from BBC

Article from New Scientist

Article from NYtimes

Article with Video from Fox News