Scientists create new hair follicle model to speed up cure for baldness

Hair loss is a common disorder among men and women, but a research team has created a hair follicle model that mimics the structure of actual hair, which they hope will speed up a cure for baldness. -- ST FILE PHOTO: RAZORTV 
Hair loss is a common disorder among men and women, but a research team has created a hair follicle model that mimics the structure of actual hair, which they hope will speed up a cure for baldness. -- ST FILE PHOTO: RAZORTV 

Hair loss is a common disorder among men and women, but a research team has created a hair follicle model that mimics the structure of actual hair, which they hope will speed up a cure for baldness.

The team of scientists from the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (IBN) said the model would allow them to understand the mechanisms that control hair growth, said the institute's executive director, Professor Jackie Ying in a statement on Friday.

Unlike existing models, the hair cells in the new model can be easily examined under the microscope, said the team's leader, Dr Andrew Wan.

If commercialised, the technology can be used by pharmaceutical companies to screen drugs that promote or restrict hair formation, said the IBN. It can also be used to determine if the active ingredients in hair growth products are effective.