Category Archives: Junji Fukuda

Large-Scale Production of Hair Follicle Germs for Regenerative Medicine

I have covered Dr. Junji Fukuda and his important hair related work at Yokohama National University in Japan several times on this blog in the past. Most recently, this was just two weeks ago in relation to his latest paper titled “Spontaneous hair follicle germ (HFG) formation in vitro, enabling the large-scale production of HFGs for regenerative medicine“, which was published towards the end of 2017, but seems to now be dated as 2018.

Hair Follicle Germs (HFGs) PreparationAt the time, I decided that this development was only worth a cursory mention in my once a month “brief items of interest” post. My decision was clouded by the fact that this research only entailed work on mice (see bottom part of image on left, courtesy Yokohama National University). We are all a bit bored/tired/frustrated with that of course.

However, earlier today, Dr. Fukuda and his team’s work was covered in the Science Daily publication. Key quote from Dr. Fukuda:

“This simple method is very robust and promising. We hope that this technique will improve human hair regenerative therapy to treat hair loss such as androgenic alopecia,” adds Fukuda. “In fact, we have preliminary data that suggests human HFG formation using human keratinocytes and dermal papilla cells.”

Perhaps this really might end up being a major development, even in humans.

Tsuji, Shiseido, Ohyama and perhaps now Fukuda? I have never been to Japan, but it looks like this may change in the future.

Brief Items of Interest, January 2018

Kerastem STYLE phase II clinical trial results update. Somewhat positive news of 17 percent increase in hair count at 6 months post-treatment. However, they only treated men in the early stages of hair loss (Norwood Scale I to III).

Regenerating one pigmented hair follicle
Single hair follicle regeneration in elderly man after wounding.

— Reader “omg” posted an interesting link to a study from Taiwan with a great title: “Never too old to regenerate (hair)”. The researchers report on an 80 year old man who regrew 1 brand new pigmented black hair after scalp wounding due to excision of a basal cell carcinoma. Yet more evidence in support of wounding, the main idea behind the work of well known company Follica. The new (or regenerated old) hair remained black at the 42-month time of follow-up. I do not think the claim that the researchers make that this is the world’s first case of wounding led hair growth in human skin is true.

— A potential improvement in current hair regeneration technology from Japan via self-sorted hair follicle germs (ssHFGs). I visualize an image of ant collaboration (which creeps me out a bit), each time I read that term. Dr. Junji Fukuda who I have covered on this blog before is a lead author. Update: A new article on this development came out on February 1, 2018.

— Dr. Takashi Tsuji was back in the news a couple of weeks ago. He is leading a Japanese team that includes RIKEN researchers that will develop technology to analyze human health ramifications of changes in people’s hair shape and quality. According to Dr. Tsuji, some research indicates that certain changes in human hair components are unique to people with diseases such as cancer and diabetes. Perhaps in future one can detect cancer earlier depending on hair analysis.

— Discussion about Donald Trumps’s hair never seems to get old when it comes to the major newspapers. I previously discussed Mr. Trump’s usage of Finasteride as well as a 10 page detailed article on his hair. Now come news that his daughter Ivanka has claimed that Donald Trump has had scalp reduction surgery.

Hair transplants could cure migraines in some per Turkish surgeon Dr. Safvet Ors. Actual study was published a few months ago despite major newspapers only covering the development more recently.

Topical Tofacitinib 2% ointment at least moderately effective in 3 of 10 patients suffering from alopecia areata. Dr. Brett King led the study. Hopefully, Aclaris will see better results for male pattern hair loss sufferers with their topical JAK product when it finally comes out. Fingers crossed.