A team at Columbia University has created a way to grow human hair in a dish, and to use 3D printing to stop hair loss.
Using 3D printing, the researchers made plastic molds with long, thin extensions resembling strands of hair. Then, human skin was engineered to grow inside the molds, and given a cocktail of growth factors.
After 3 weeks, human follicles appeared and started growing.
"One application is for burns or severe skin trauma where the follicles are destroyed and normally don't regenerate," said Angela Christiana, Ph.D.
Experts say it could open up hair restoraton to 30 million American women with thinning hair.
Having an unlimited source of hair follicles would eliminate the current process of moving follicles from the back to the front of the head.
Researchers use 3D printing to stop hair loss