Category Archives: L’Oreal

Poietis: 3D and 4D Bioprinting of Skin and Hair

Poietis is a relatively small 25-employee France based company that is active in the 3D and 4D laser bioprinting  sector. The company only commenced operations in 2014 and its main current focus is in skin tissue laser-assisted bioprinting for regenerative medicine applications. Moreover, the printed tissues can also be used in preclinical research applications as well as in evaluating the efficacy of various cosmetic products.

While there are numerous companies active in the tissue bioprinting sector, Poietis is unique in its use of lasers to build the tissue. Other companies typically use an extrusion process in which bio-ink is pushed through a nozzle.

Note that “4D bioprinting” is the next generation process of 3D bioprinting. Per one simple definition of 4D bioprinting, time is integrated with 3D bioprinting as the fourth dimension. A more complex definition can be found here.

Poietis Partnership with L’Oréal and BASF

I first briefly covered Poietis on this blog in 2016 after the formation of their partnership with French cosmetics behemoth L’Oréal in order to 3D bioprint hair follicles. At the time, this was major news and was even covered by the BBC.

Below is an image from a recent 2017 presentation on 3D printed hair by Poietis’ CEO Mr. Fabien Guillemot. The image was taken from L’Oréal’s Twitter account, which is a good sign that both partners are still pursuing the 3D hair printing angle.

Poietis-L'Oreal 3D Printed Hair Partnership.
Poietis-L’Oreal 3D Printed Hair Partnership.

Note that L’Oréal is also involved in a 3D printed skin tissue partnership with Organovo that I have covered on this blog in the past. And late last year, L’Oréal entered into a collaborative agreement with famous hair regeneration company Samumed in order to help develop the latter’s anti-wrinkle skin care topical product. And of course L’Oréal is working on a cure for grey hair too.

In 2017, Poietis attracted further attention after expanding upon its existing 2015 partnership with German chemical producing powerhouse BASF.

BASF-Poietis
BASF and Poietis partnership.

The goal of this partnership is to further improve upon the 3D laser-assisted bioprinted skin models that the companies have co-developed since 2015. These models will aid in evaluating cosmetic ingredients for skin care applications as well as possibly lead to an end in animal testing.

Poietis in 2018

This week, Poietis started the new year with a big announcement. Several days ago, the the company announced that it had now launched its Poieskin® laser-assisted bioprinted skin model. Sales will officially start in April 2018. More here. Poietis plans to significantly increase its employee total in 2018, and hopefully the company will have more to say about hair before the end of the year.

JAK Inhibitors and Alopecia Updates

Hair loss news first:

— A day after I wrote this post, CNN covered JAK inhibitors in a new article. In a pleasant surprise, they also looked at the androgenetic alopecia (AGA) angle. Usually, all these articles on JAK inhibitors only look at alopecia areata (AA). Yet again, Dr. Angela Christiano says she is optimistic that JAKs could work on AGA patients (but only in a topical form). Dr. Brett King is not optimistic, but he is still testing it out in a lotion form on his AA patients who also have AGA.

In the above article, the one AA patient who they show with major hair regrowth after being on oral JAK inhibitors did not regrow the hair that he lost to AGA. Of course it is impossible to tell whether he did not regrow 100 percent of his male pattern hair loss or not. In any event, we will only know for sure about this once they test newer topical JAK inhibitors out so people should not get so emotional about this subject. You should also not try to test your own topical version as even the experts are having a hard time developing the appropriate version. According to Dr. Christiano:

“Though she thinks men might have the same success with an ointment, she said the trick is that it has to penetrate properly. Compared with the paper-thin skin of mice, human skin is “much thicker, and it’s oily, and it’s deep, and it’s got a fat layer — so there’s a lot to think about when making a good topical formula.”

— In a first, I missed covering the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (ISHRS)’s 24th Annual Congress that ran from September 28th through October 1st in Las Vegas. I did not even see any threads on the conference in any of the hair loss forums out there, which is strange. I usually cover the 2-3 most important hair loss related conferences in the world every year, but this time I forgot. You can find the detailed ISHRS 24th Congress final program guide here. As usual, there were way too many interesting presentations. For our purposes, the most important ones were:

  • Dr. Angela Christiano: “JAK Inhibitors, Hair Regeneration and Genetic Testing”.
  • Dr. Pantelis Rompolas: “Potency and Contribution of Stem Cells to Hair Follicle Regeneration”.
  • Dr. Rodney Sinclair: “Advancing our Understanding of the Biology of Androgenetic Alopecia and Changing the way we use Minoxidil to Treat it”.
  • Dr. Angela Christiano and Dr. Ken Washenik led a discussion titled “Biotechnology in Hair Regeneration”.

On Twitter, one doctor told me that while Dr. Christiano did not provide any data on JAK inhibitors for androgenetic alopecia (AGA), she did hint that JAK inhibitors stimulate the anagen phase of the hair growth cycle. Fingers crossed as usual when it comes to this subject.

I was surprised at the number of presentations on body hair transplants (BHT), with Dr. Arvind Poswal discussing long-term ten-year plus results of his BHT patients. Also surprising were the number of presentations on platelet-rich plasma (PRP).

— In stark contrast to the above omission, in the past week at least 10 (!) people either commented under a blog post or e-mailed me about cosmetics behemoth L’Oréal (France) and Poietis (France) partnering to bioprint hair follicles via laser. This news item was extremely well covered across the global media and there are hundreds of articles on the internet about this interesting subject matter. Also see my post on 3D bioprinting of hair follicles.

The end goal “holy grail” of this research will be to implant the new hair follicles into balding regions. Here is the official company video outlining the technology and the goals behind this partnership.

— Unfortunately, it seems like Replicel has not fulfilled the contractual obligations of its partnership with Shiseido (although the former disputes this allegation). In any event, it is unlikely that this will stop Shiseido from proceeding with its own plans.

Kerastem completes enrollment in Phase 2 clinical trials.

— Former baseball great Jose Canseco just announced today that he will get a hair transplant with Dr. Parsa Mohebi next week.

— Sportscaster Joe Buck’s hair transplant addiction nearly cost him his voice and his career.

The benefits of going bald. I would much rather have none of those benefits and keep my hair instead.

And now on to medical items of interest:

— The National Geographic is a highly reputable magazine so I believe them when they say that ending blindness is no longer just a dream.

Rapamycin could make your dog (and maybe humans) live longer.

Microsoft aims to cure cancer in ten years. After all, cancer is just a programming error.

— A very interesting new endeavor: “Human Cell Atlas project aims to map the human body’s 35 trillion cells“.

Teeth regeneration advances.

Building a bionic spine.

3D printing continues to revolutionize the field of prosthetic limbs.

First “three person baby” born in Mexico (doctors went there from the USA in order to escape strict regulations). Baby’s parents were Jordanian. Medicine will hopefully soon become very multinational.

— Yet more evidence that turmeric is very good for you, but only when added to food that is then cooked.

Endurance training causes positive genetic changes.

— Not sure if I believe half the stuff, but K. Comella’s presentation on “Reversing Aging with Stem Cells” from RAADfest 2017 seems very interesting. It includes a section on hair regrowth and has 100 percent thumbs up likes so far.