Building on years of groundbreaking discoveries in stem cell research, scientists from Indiana University School of Medicine and Harvard Medical School have determined how to grow hairy skin using human stem cells–developing one of the most complex skin models in the world.
The study, published June 3 in Nature, shows that skin generated from pluripotent stem cells can be successfully grafted on a nude mouse to grow human skin and hair follicles. That discovery could lead to future studies in skin reconstruction, disease modeling and treatment.
This is the first study to show that human hair can be grown completely from stem cells in a dish, which has been a goal of the skin biology community for decades.”
Karl Koehler, PhD, assistant professor of otolaryngology–head and neck surgery at Harvard Medical School and Boston Children’s Hospital
The team of researchers was led by Koehler, who’s also an adjunct assistant professor of otolaryngology–head and neck surgery at IU School of Medicine, and Jiyoon Lee, PhD, a research associate in Koehler’s lab.
The group’s findings originate from several years of stem cell research within the Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery at IU School of Medicine. In 2013, scientists created inner ear tissue from mouse embryonic stem cells using a three-dimensional cell culture method. In 2017, they developed a method to grow inner ear tissue from human stem cells, and in 2018, the researchers grew hairy skin in