More Multipotency From Follicles

Scientists continue to better coax multipotent stem cells from hair follicles, as noted by EurekAlert!: "Hair follicles are well known to be a source for adult stem cells. Using human embryonic stem cell culture conditions, the researchers isolated and grew a new type of multipotent adult stem cell from scalp tissue ... The mutipotent stem cells grow as masses the investigators call hair spheres. After growing the 'raw' cells from the hair spheres in different types of growth factors, the investigators were able to differentiate the stem cells into multiple lineages, including nerve cells, smooth muscle cells, and melanocytes (skin pigment cells). ... Although we are just at the start of this research, our findings suggest that human hair follicles may provide an accessible, individualized source of stem cells." A low-cost, reliable source of this nature would greatly speed the development of tailored regenerative repair kits capable of engineering new tissue on demand.



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