Organ replacement regenerative therapy is purported to enable the replacement of organs damaged by disease, injury or ageing in the foreseeable future. A research group led by Professor Takashi Tsuji (Professor in the Research Institute for Science and Technology, Tokyo University of Science, and Director of Organ Technologies Inc.) has provided a proof-of-concept for bioengineered organ replacement as a next stage of regenerative therapy.
Reporting in Nature Communications the group demonstrate that bioengineered hair follicle germ reconstructed from adult epithelial stem cells and dermal papilla cells can regenerate fully functional hair follicle and hair growth. Their bioengineered follicles showed restored hair cycles and piloerection through the rearrangement of follicular stem cells and their niches. The bioengineered hair follicle also developed the correct structures and formed proper connections with surrounding host tissues such as the epidermis, arrector pili muscle and nerve fibers. This study thus reveals the potential applications of adult tissue-derived follicular stem cells as a bioengineered organ replacement therapy.
This was collaborative research with Lecturer Tarou Irié and Professor emertius Tetsuhiko Tachikawa (Department of Oral Pathology, Showa University School of Dentistry, Japan), Professor Akio Sato (Department Regenerative Medicine, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Kitasato University School of Medicine, Japan) and Associate Professor Akira Takeda (Department of Plastic and Aesthetic Surgery, Kitasato University School of Medicine, Japan).
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Press release distributed by ResearchSEA on behalf of Tokyo University of Science.