While today’s surgical hair restoration is refined and very natural looking, donor hair supply is limited making it impossible for the vastly bald to restore a full head of hair. This is why hair duplication (formerly known asĀ ”Autocloning“) has our hair restoration forum community so intrigued and excited.

Recently, Coalition member Dr. Jerry Cooley presented research on ACell MatriStem and the highly popular hair duplication technique at this year’s annual 2010 ISHRS (International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery) scientific meeting in Boston. To view the highlights from the meeting, click here. While ACell MatriStem is known for its wound healing properties, it’s recent role in hair multiplication is by far the most intriguing to hair loss sufferers.

Hair Duplication (autocloning) works on the principle that a hair, when plucked properly, will emerge with its epithelial cells and follicular stem cells intact. According to Dr. Cooley, applying ACell to the plucked hair and then implanting it into the scalp “stimulates the body’s innate regenerative potential” to rebuild a completely new follicle including sebaceous gland and dermal papilla. Since plucked hairs also regrow in the original site, a potentially limitless donor supply is created, providing hair loss sufferers with the possibility of restoring a full head of hair. While very exciting news, it is important to note that there is still much research yet to be conducted. Among the questions that remain to be answered are:

  • Are these regenerated hairs androgen sensitive? Androgen sensitive hairs will most likely fall out just like other natural hair susceptible to DHT.
  • Will these regenerated hairs go through the normal hair cycle?

So what is ACell and what role does it play in supporting hair duplication? ACell MatriStem is an FDA approved extracellular matrix (ECM) wound healing agent derived from pig urinary bladder (UBM). ECM occupies the space between cells and is part of every organ and tissue of every animal species. This property means that ECM can be taken from various animals and used in humans without fear of reactions. When applied to a wound, ACell has been shown to; promote angiogenesis (a key step in tissue regeneration), recruit adult stem cells and display antibacterial properties that reduce the likelihood of infection. How effective hair duplication (autocloning) would be without ACell however, is unknown at this time.

For a detailed account of Dr. Cooley’s findings with accompanying photo documentation, read the article, Dr. Jerry Cooley’s Presentation on ACell MatriStem in Hair Restoration and Hair Duplication (Autocloning) on our Hair Loss Q&A Blog. You are also encouraged to add your opinions and comments to the discussion thread, Dr. Jerry Cooley’s Presentation on ACell in Hair Restoration and Hair Duplication (Autocloning).

In addition to his work with Hair Duplication, Dr. Cooley is researching how ACell may improve traditional follicular unit transplantation (FUT) and follicular unit extraction (FUE). He’s tested ACell’s healing properties when applied to punch harvest sites (FUE), strip harvest sites (FUT) and follicular unit grafting. Among his observations, Dr. Cooley has found that ACell may improve the look and/or feel of healing tissue depending upon type of procedure it is applied to.

Hair Duplication (Autocloning) has also fascinated other leading hair restoration physicians. Coalition member Dr. Bill Rassman will soon be conducting his own research and tests with it. To learn more, visit Dr. Bill Rassman Begins ACell and Hair Duplication (Autocloning) Trials in Los Angeles.

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David – aka TakingThePlunge
Assistant Publisher and Forum Co-Moderator for the Hair Transplant Network, the Hair Loss Learning Center, the Hair Loss Q&A Blog, and the Hair Restoration Forum

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