Hair Care :: Cure for baldness in skin cell injections

Scientists have been celebrating amazing results using skin cells known as fibroblasts to treat burns victims after the method was first used to reduce lines and wrinkles on the face.

Now they hope the technique could be developed to tackle baldness, reduce stretch marks and treat gum disease, according to Chemistry & Industry magazine.

The new technology is being developed by Isolagen, a biotech company in Houston, Texas, but British patients will also take part in clinical trials.

Fibroblasts control levels of the proteins collagen and elastin which are found in skin, bones and other tissue.

To treat burns victims the scientists take a biopsy from an undamaged area, extract the fibroblasts and multiply them in the lab before injecting them back into the patient. Dr Mark Lewis, a fibroblast expert from University College London, said the cells were “marvellous” at knowing what to do in the body.

“They seem to have exquisite judgment of how much stuff they should produce. They know what to do because they know what is involved in normal maintenance,” he said.

While the treatment has been used for several years to rejuvenate an ageing face, Isolagen hopes to extend its use and have already seen some success in clinical trials.

Injecting fibroblasts into areas affected by stretch marks has, in some cases, seen them disappear completely.

Bob Sexauer, vice-president of corporate development at Isolagen, said: “We carried out 15 case studies and seem to be having great success with depressed/indented stretch marks.”

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