Poietis: 3D and 4D Bioprinting of Skin Tissue 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.

Partnerships 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 hair printing angle.

Poietis-L'Oreal 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 (h/t Mutruk). 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-PoietisThe 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, commentator “sets” made me aware that Poietis has 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 this year, and hopefully the company will have more to say about hair before the end of the year.

54 thoughts on “Poietis: 3D and 4D Bioprinting of Skin Tissue and Hair”

  1. As always hair is on the back burner….I would like to see one of these companies come out and say we can grow hair and it’s going to be available in April 2018 and not we are in preclinical studies for hair and further research is needed. 10 years more….I’m starting to believe shaving your head is going to be the only real cure to this mess because researchers just love to research and not release anything. I guess they are making more money selling snake oils than actually bringing out a real cure.

    1. There will be never be a cure for certain things…
      wake up man, you really think that in 2020 there will be a cure for baldness?
      that’s only 24 months from now… and it’s not going to happened.
      We have to make the best with what we have.. even if what we have is nothing;)

      1. By 2020 there will be Follica and Shiseido. The former of which definitely grows new hair and the latter has been shown to stop hairloss for years at a time, if not forever.

        Both of these things will be functional cures for many.

        In the last 30 years you also have minoxidil, finasteride, topical variants of both, robotic hair transplants, temporary SMP, etc.

        but waaaah there’s “nothing”

        1. Whit nothing I meant ” no hair “.

          You are right about finasteride and minoxidil… but is this really what we want?… aren’t we tired to deal with side effects and the rest of the mess for something that doesn’t really give us what we want…something that we have to take for the rest of our lives…
          Do you really believe that in 24 months all the bald men and women on the planet will be able to grow thick hair?… I hope your optimism will be paid.

          1. 35 months to be precise. If no major progress by Tsuji, Shiseido/Replicel, Samumed, Follica, Aclaris, Allergan, Histogen, Follicum, HairClone etc… by early 2019, it won’t look good even by my optimistic standards.

  2. While you were all salivating over “tsuji”…

    CLINICAL AND HISTOLOGICAL EVALUATION OF THE REGENERA® METHOD FOR THE TREATMENT OF ANDROGENETIC ALOPECIA

    Androgenetic alopecia has become a more common condition in society, affecting both genders. It is a disorder of multifactorial origin, with therapeutic options both in the rise and under development. Known options include the procedures of regenerative medicine with promising results. This paper assesses clinical and histological changes in patients with AGA after applying an autologous cellular suspension obtained using the Rigenera® system. After applying treatment, an increase in the mean of hair thickness, together with reduction of its loss, have been objectified; the level of satisfaction described by patients is worth noting. Based on the results, the improvement of AGA obtained with the Rigenera system is objective; these results need to be completed with data from future studies after using this promising technique.

    http://rigeneraprotocol.it/

    1. Maybe the botox is helping with the mechanical stress:

      ‘Hypothesis
      The hypothesis argues that AGA is the result of chronic scalp tension mediated by pubertal and post-pubertal skull bone growth and/or the overdevelopment and chronic contraction of muscles connected to the GA. This leads to a site-specific, pro-inflammatory cascade in GA-fused tissues – upregulating signaling proteins and androgens involved in fibrosis and calcification pathogenesis. This results in slow, persistent tissue remodeling – which restricts follicle growth space and reduces oxygen and nutrient supply to AGA tissues – leading to hair follicle miniaturization and eventually pattern baldness.”

      https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0306987717310411

      1. this botox thing is already known since years, there is a german guy who found out some years ago that botox works against aga and already injecting since years its called AC- Therapie
        Personally I dont think it is a valid option

    2. ?

      So now we’re back to “mechanical stress” and “inadequate blood flow”? What happened to “donor dominance” and Wnt-signalling and all the genetic/biochemical explanations for AGA?

      It’s almost like nobody actually has a ing clue what the real cause is. In that case, how can any of these stem-cell/bioengineered treatments be expected to work?

    3. Actually, that article reviews a lot of other useful research, and presents a seemingly-plausible hypothesis. It explains the PATTERN in Male Pattern Baldness, which otherwise just seems bizarre — why would follicles in such a specific area be DHT-sensitive, whereas no others are?

      AGA is the result of chronic scalp tension mediated by pubertal and post-pubertal skull bone growth and/or the overdevelopment and chronic contraction of muscles connected to the galea aponeurotica. This leads to a site-specific, pro-inflammatory cascade in GA-fused tissues – upregulating signaling proteins and androgens involved in fibrosis and calcification pathogenesis. This results in slow, persistent tissue remodeling – which restricts follicle growth space and reduces oxygen and nutrient supply to AGA tissues – leading to hair follicle miniaturization and eventually pattern baldness.

      Apparently, the author is not a professional scientist; here is his blog:

      https://perfecthairhealth.com/update-2018-published-research-paper/

      The article is well-worth reading, anyway.

      A hypothetical pathogenesis model for androgenic alopecia: clarifying the dihydrotestosterone paradox and rate-limiting recovery factors

      http://www.medical-hypotheses.com/article/S0306-9877(17)31041-1/fulltext

    1. I call bs as well. I am a gymnast in my late 30s and have spent more time upside-down than a bat. Where is my mane of gorgeous hair gone? 🙂

          1. actually it is not.the fronto occiptal muscles ( 2 muscles) will get in tension and prevent from further blood flow even if you are upside down, probably even more as your whole head muscles will be in tension

    2. Bald uakari monkeys almost always (if not always) have pattern baldness. Their faces and scalps are red due to very strong blood flow…and they’re still bald.

      Humans have strong blood flow to their fingers, as you will quickly discover when you cut one, and yet they grow very little hair on them. There’s more to it than that.

      If those monkeys always have that hair pattern, then it’s just a species characteristic, like humans having sparse hair except on their heads, armpits, and groin. The question about MPB is why only some men get it, and why the DHT that makes hair grow on their faces (but not women’s, because they don’t have DHT) has the opposite effect on only part of their scalp.

      Try reading the article; it answers most of the common objections to that theory, although that of course doesn’t prove that it’s true. It would be interesting to see a knowledgeable person respond to the specific arguments it presents, rather than just dismissing it out-of-hand, as you have done.

      In any case, it reviews a lot of other useful research, as I said.

      1. “Humans have strong blood flow to their fingers, as you will quickly discover when you cut one, and yet they grow very little hair on them. There’s more to it than that.”

        Of course, because that has little to do with why hair follicles at different sites have different growth characteristics.

        “If those monkeys always have that hair pattern, then it’s just a species characteristic, like humans having sparse hair except on their heads, armpits, and groin.”

        Those monkeys have androgenetic alopecia.

        “Some primates routinely and predictably become bald. Male and female uakaris, stump-tailed macaques, orang-utans, most chimpanzees (figures 16, 17) and some gorillas undergo varying degrees of baldness in their mature years; the biological phenomenon that brings about their alopecia seems to be the same as in human alopecia (Momagna & Uno, 1968 a, b).”

        https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-642-68300-8_4

        “The question about MPB is why only some men get it”

        Mostly due to genetic differences.

        “and why the DHT that makes hair grow on their faces (but not women’s, because they don’t have DHT) has the opposite effect on only part of their scalp.”

        Dermal fibroblasts, the cells that dermal papilla cells are derived from, have an epigenetic positional identity established during embryonic/fetal development and maintained throughout life. These include, for example, site-specific combinations of HOX genes (called a HOX code). It’s a standard principle of biological pattern formation.

        This is a really good paper on that: http://journals.plos.org/plosgenetics/article?id=10.1371/journal.pgen.0020119

        So we could ask: What epigenetic differences exist between HFs on the top of the scalp, HFs on the sides and back of the scalp, facial HFs, etc. that makes them respond differently to androgens? How could we find out what makes them different?

        Looking at gene expression differences between the sites, ChIP-Seq to find AR binding sites in DNA from each of these different sites, and so on would be a good start. Unfortunately, no one has yet done this research, so we don’t know the answers to this question.

        “Try reading the article; it answers most of the common objections to that theory, although that of course doesn’t prove that it’s true. It would be interesting to see a knowledgeable person respond to the specific arguments it presents, rather than just dismissing it out-of-hand, as you have done.”

        I did read it, and I didn’t dismiss it out of hand – his “answers to the objections” were debunked a long time ago.

        This is from 1979:

        “The author transplanted composite skin grafts from balding, non-balding, and bald areas of the scalp, to the skin of the arm. The galea aponeurotica was trimmed away from the grafts. The patient was a 29-yr-old male with progresive male pattern baldness (MPB). The transplants from the balding area became bald at the same rate as the balding donor site in the receding frontal, hairline, whereas the transplants taken from the non-balding area in the occiput continued to grow the same amount and quality of terminal hairs. Bald grafts taken in front of the receding hairline remained bald. This shows that the cause of MPB lies in the follicle itself or in its very close surrounding and does not depend on the galea aponeurotica, the increased tension of the scalp or of its muscles, the diminished vascular supply to the scalp or any other regional factor localized to the head area. It also shows that the ‘balding clock’ keeps time even when the follicle is transplanted to another region of the body.”

        Source: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/23047868_Synchronous_balding_of_scalp_and_hair-bearing_grafts_of_scalp_transplanted_to_the_skin_of_the_arm_in_male_pattern_baldness

        Bryan on HLT posted a thread with some more excerpts from the paper: https://www.hairlosstalk.com/interact/threads/dispensing-with-old-fashioned-male-pattern-baldness-theories-and-one-new-one.12832/

        ^^^ Fun thread.

        Here’s one of the authors answers to why transplants survive:

        “HT donor tissue sites are not above the GA, and are therefore not under the same chronic tension before their transplantation – implying an absence of perifollicular fibrosis or dermal sheath thickening present in AGA-affected tissues. AGA progression is a decades-long process. If most transplanted donor hair follicles survive one year after hair transplantation, it’s likely these HT follicles have not yet had enough time under tension exposure for fibrosis or dermal sheath thickening onset, and thereby hair follicle miniaturization.”

        But in the Nordstrom study, terminal follicles taken from 1 cm _behind_ the receding hairline miniaturized after removal from the environment and transplant to the balding guy’s arm at the same time and rate as those that remained at the donor site.

        And here’s a study where they transplanted occipital hair to frontal scalp in stump-tailed macaques, a species of old world monkey that also experiences AGA: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0022202X15463031

        In macaques, testosterone spikes at 4 years of age, and they immediately start balding at the front of their scalps. The above paper studied macaques for 8 years after transplantation. The occipital hairs transplanted to frontal scalp looked just the same after those 8 years.

        “As the animals matured the frontal scalp became bald, but the long, thick hairs in the grafts continued to grow (Fig 2). Hair growth continued unchanged in these plugs for more than 8 yr after transplantation.”

        So the guy’s excuse that those hairs just didn’t have enough time to miniaturize doesn’t work. The transplanted hairs survived for 8 years in a place where miniaturization happens rapidly in native hair follicles after testosterone spikes at 4 years of age. Those hairs survived for at least twice as long as the macaques had even been alive up that point.

        1. Bob this went to spam FYI, probably because there were a lot of links in there.

          In future, please let me know if you wrote a lengthy post and it never got approved even after one day of waiting.

  3. I have been previously criticized for citing unsuccessful balding remedies that date back to the time of the pyramids due to irrelevance based on what science is out now.

    Well of course this is true, but what it does do is debunk all the “natural cure” hippies on YouTube that blame hair loss and other things on modern life. If the people who lived in ancient Egypt and Babylon got it as well, then it can’t be due to higher protein diets, obesity, global warming, fluoride in the tap water, radiation, computer screens, mobile phones, or “modern stress” whatever the hell that is (if you know where your next meal is coming from you don’t know stress).

    It is pure genetic bad luck. At least for now 🙂

  4. Probably preclinical trials for hair but a release to market for skin. You know the drill donitello 5 to 10 years for hair loss lol. I would focus on follica and sisheido and possibly aclaris at this point.

  5. Tissue Eng Regen Med. 2018 Jan 26. doi: 10.1002/term.2646. [Epub ahead of print]
    Generation of full-thickness skin equivalents using hair follicle-derived primary human keratinocytes and fibroblasts.
    Löwa A1, Vogt A2, Kaessmeyer S3, Hedtrich S1.
    Author information
    Abstract
    Skin equivalents are increasingly used as human-based test systems for basic and preclinical research. Most of the established skin equivalents are composed of primary keratinocytes and fibroblasts, isolated either from excised human skin or juvenile foreskin following circumcisions. Although the potential of hair follicle-derived cells for the generation of skin equivalents has been shown, this approach normally requires microdissections from the scalp for which there is limitted subject compliance or ethical approval. In the present study, we report a novel method to isolate and cultivate keratinocytes and fibroblasts from plucked hair follicles that were then used to generate skin equivalents. The procedure is non-invasive, inflicts little-pain, and may allow easy access to patient-derived cells without taking punch biopsies. Overall, minor differences in morphology, ultrastructure, expression of important structural proteins or barrier function were observed between skin equivalents generated from hair follicle-derived or interfollicular keratinocytes and fibroblasts. Interestingly, improved basal lamina formation was seen in the hair follicle-derived skin equivalents. The here presented method allows easy and non-invasive access to keratinocytes and fibroblasts from plucked hair follicles that may be useful particularly for the generation of skin disease equivalents.

    KEYWORDS:
    hair follicle; interfollicular keratinocytes and fibroblasts; outer rooth sheath; skin equivalents

    PMID: 29377584 DOI: 10.1002/term.2646

  6. PolarityTE Update!!! It seems that it is really working on humans. I did not read everything but I just want to inform you guys to read it. There are many pages to read.

  7. Quentin- can you send some links where you read that collagen makes minox work better? Im doing done searching and I’m seeing that collagen causes fibrosis in the scalp?

  8. We are almost there. The best year of hair loss research.

    PolarityTE
    Fidia
    Shiseido
    Follica
    Aclaris Therapeutics
    Poieits/L’oreal

    And they all will fail this year? No, they will not and I am very sure that at least one of them will succeed. Hair loss will be history.

    Around the 3rd quarter of 2018 we hopefully have more than one option. At this moment PolarityTE seems to be the winner of the 2018 race. My favourites: PolarityTE, Aclaris Therapeutics and Shiseido.

  9. Shiseido is closer polarity hasn’t even publicly released their official hair derivative announcement yet.. Aclaris hasn’t. Loreal is 3 years off. Follica might be this year

    1. I agree with Egghead. Shiseido have the technology and more importantly the financial muscle to go the distance.

      I have shaved my head in protest and will not grow hair again until there is a cure. Strangely I have been getting more positive attention from the ladies but the thing is I am gay and my last 3 boyfriends did not like the thinning. I am optimistic.

  10. Don’t want to pop any balloons here, but when something is physically on the shelves of my local pharmacist or in the docs office, etc…then I’ll get excited. In the mean time, I’m just going to try an stay positive but realistic. I’ve chased too many rainbows in the last five years with hair loss treatments to be get too ahead of myself.

  11. I wonder if researchers at companies such as Histogen know of something potentially just over the horizon that they could not compete with and decided to fold, close up shop and focus on other markets.

    1. They probably did ISA or they used hsc to fund other products. I have a feeling a lot of these other companies are doing the same thing. Now you can also say they were the only ones with a real hair loss solution aimed to hit the market by 2013 all 3 trials done with a solid 6 to 7 years of no competition. They could have reaped all the profits until follica or susheido get released in late 2018 or 2019.
      I still believe in conspiracy of big pharma blocking better treatments but that’s a whole issue to talk about. I just find it weird that the last fda treatment to come out was Propecia and it was in 1998! Hey who knows maybe the 20th anniversary will bring us a new treatment. Every 20 years we get new balding cures lol. I just hope whatever comes out is a game changer that grows a load of thick terminal hair. We deserve it and so many balding guys out there.

      1. As someone who works in big pharma, there is never any discussion about shelving cures in favor of treatments. Absolutely none. That thinking goes so counter to what pharma is about at its core which is helping patients. Obviously there are groups out there like Turing Pharmaceuticals and Mylan that try to game the system for profit, but these companies are not the ones discovering new medicines. Curing diseases without effecting other body systems (think of what fin, dut, and minox do in the body other than helping to grow hair) is just far more complicated than people realize. I am sure there are cures on the horizon, the problem is that despite the potential market value of a hair loss cure, pharma is more focused on helping people live longer and hairloss isn’t a “life-threatening” condition in the true sense of the word. I hate losing my hair as much as the rest of you, and I can assure you this community digs up a lot of good research and ideas, but don’t demonize pharma’s role in this because it offers one of the best paths to a cure.

      2. You should watch Netflix documentary “drug short” when valent took over as Big Pharma they virtually stopped R&D across the country by acquisitions of 1000s of promising drug manufacturers they purchased. the first thing they did was shut down research and development and increase price of drugs. The documentary proves your belief of conspiracy in Big Pharma. great documentary. enjoy!
        PS love this site! Great work admin

  12. More people should take me seriously Mr Admin. If you think these big companies aren’t hiding better treatments or cures then you are just ignorant. They release what makes them profit. Plain and simple.

    Fiorano- not to start an argument or anything to offend you in anyway but if you are not at the c level of big pharma or upper level of R&D then you won’t really know what goes down behind closed doors and who they are doing business with. I want to believe you are right because it will give me more hope but 20 years and not a better treatment…I just find that odd. You see all these cholesterol drugs, acne, blood pressure, erectile dysfunction drugs get released through the past 20 years, all with side effects …yet no aga drugs get released. Aderans shut down, intercytex shut down, osh101 shut down, etc that could have provided us with maintenance and regrowth….I don’t know man its just weird…anywho I’ll drop the subject since the Admin thinks I’m a loon but still uses my name in interview articles 🙂

      1. I am a great asset to this universe. I’m highly successful and a great family man. I wish you could just open your eyes and see it and not be so closed minded to a possibility of big pharma blocking potential cures. I don’t understand how you can’t even consider that a reason. Anyways say what you want about me Mr admin if it makes you feel better:) Plus Dr Cots would recognize it. He is a successful individual and hard worker like myself:)

        1. I did not agree of disagree with your statement. Just warned a reader about your bipolar opinions. And you are a great family man. Your family even allows you to spend more time with us then with them:-)

  13. Admin I consider you family buddy:) That’s why it hurts my feelings when you say the mean things you do about me haha. One day we will sort out our differences…that day will be when the cure comes haha. Oh and mark my word cots will be the first person to come out the next treatment 🙂

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