Category Archives: Yokohama National University

Yokohama to Begin Hair Multiplication Trials in 2023

I have covered hair regeneration related research by Yokohama National University’s Dr. Junji Fukuda a few times in the past. His most important work is related to hair multiplication.

However, Dr. Fukuda achieved global notoriety in 2018 due to the French Fries chemical related hair loss “cure”. Make sure to also check out the Fukuda Lab site.

Yokohama Hair Multiplication
Yokohama National University Hair Multiplication Process. Dr. Junji Fukuda and Dr. Tatsuto Kageyama.

Yokahama University: Interview with Dr. Tatsuto Kageyama

Yesterday, in our Discord chat, “DrPhil” posted a link to a new April interview with Dr. Tatsuto Kageyama of Yokohama National University.

After some quick research, I realized that Dr. Kageyama is a co-author in Dr. Fukuda’s important 2019 paper titled: “Preparation of hair beads and hair follicle germs for regenerative medicine.

This latest interview with Dr. Kageyama is extremely insightful and encouraging.

Human Trials to Start in 2023

The most important news is that human trials will start in 2023. Moreover, the treatment will not be too costly, and it will be safe.

Some key quotes after translation:

“We started basic research using human cells in 2018, aiming to start clinical trials in 2023. And we are working hard together with the members of the laboratory so that we can deliver it to everyone as soon as possible.”

“We also believe that we will be able to resolve cost issues.”

Apparently, they are convinced that the cost of this treatment will be much lower in comparison to other regenerative medicine treatments. A nice change from Dr. Tsuji’s expensive hair loss cure.

The team’s mass culture technology does not necessitate expensive equipment. Moreover, the required amount of hair follicle primordia can be produced with a single culture container.

Hair Follicle Primordium Creation

The Yokohama National University team’s hair multiplication process involves creating hair follicle primordia. Epithelial cells and mesenchymal cells mix to form a tissue called “hair follicle primordium“. This is essentially the seed for hair growth.

The process this team uses entails:

  1. Extract a few healthy scalp hairs.
  2. Increase the “epithelial cells” and “mesenchymal cells” that exist  in those follicles.
  3. Thereafter, cultivate a large amount of hair follicle primordia.
  4. Transplant these new cells to balding regions of the donor’s scalp to regenerate the hair.

It will be possible to produce thousands of hairs from several hairs. The whole process is considered to be safe due to the autologous nature of the treatment.

Japan

Best of all, in Japan, clinical trials in regenerative medicine are expected to move along faster than in the US or EU. The country has a rapidly aging society with low birth rates. Therefore, it is a world leader in anti-aging related research.

The important triumvirate of Riken (Tsuji), Shiseido, and Yokohama (Fukuda) are all based in Japan. I am very hopeful that at least one of these three will finally succeed in bringing a next generation hair loss treatment or cure to the market.

Junji Fukuda and Hair Regeneration

I have covered hair regeneration research by Yokohama University’s Dr. Junji Fukuda a few times in the past. He is highly respected in the world of hair loss research.

Junji Fukuda: Preparation of Hair Follicle Germs

Last month, Dr. Junji Fukuda and his team published a groundbreaking new study titled: “Preparation of hair beads and hair follicle germs for regenerative medicine“.  The team managed to generate new hair follicles from stem cells in far higher quantities than ever before in mice. This news was widely covered, including in today’s Guardian newspaper.

The researchers’ approach entailed use of a collagen gel in combination with spheroids formed from epithelial cells. This resulted in something called bead-based hair follicle germs (bbHFGs). These germs generated hairs more efficiently than previous approaches. A hair-raising protocol per one headline.

The success of this approach will potentially lead to the preparation of microtissues with high trichogenic ability upon transplantation. A key necessity in future hair follicle germ creation and transplantation from stem cells in humans.

Past research from Dr. Fukuda is here. The researchers next step is to “find a way to expand the number of hair follicle stem cells“.

The below post on earlier work from Dr. Fukuda was written in February 2018.

Large-Scale Production of Hair Follicle Germs

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

Junji Fukuda: Hair Follicle Germs (HFGs) Preparation.
Junji Fukuda: Hair Follicle Germs (HFGs) Preparation.

At 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.