23:40 GMT08 August 2020
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    Research by scientists of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi recently published in the Journal of Cellular Physiology shows how a three-dimensional microorganism can mimic the different stages of hair growth in humans.

    New Delhi (Sputnik): Scientists from IIT Delhi have developed a silk-based hydrogel that emulates the process of hair growth. This innovation can help in the development of new drugs for alopecia while avoiding the use of animals for trials, the Indian news agency PTI reported.

    The study notes that alopecia — a condition that occurs due to an abnormal growth cycle or a reduction in the size of hair follicles is the major reason contributing to permanent hair loss. Numerous oils, creams, and medicines are commercially available, but successful treatment of alopecia is still a far-fetched dream, it added.

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    "The major reason for such inefficiency is there are no suitable human cell-based in vitro models available for drug testing. The currently available anti-alopecia drugs and cosmetics are tested on animals," PTI quoted Sourabh Ghosh, associate professor at IIT-Delhi, as saying, while elaborating upon the new findings. 

    The differences in the immunology and physiology amongst animals and humans drastically limit the success of such drugs.

    "We strongly felt the need to develop an ideal three dimension in-vitro model of hair follicle using human cells. Since we have already successfully tested the action of a model hair regeneration drug (minoxidil) in our lab-based hair follicle model, we strongly feel that our hair follicle model is ready to be used by companies to test their products," Sourabh Ghosh added.

    Hair loss is a common condition troubling people across the world and is caused by a number of factors, including genes, illness, trauma and surgery.


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