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New 3D printing technology could cure baldness


Bald men and those with thinning scarecrow-like hair rejoice, there could soon be a proper cure for your lack of hair that doesn't involve Trump like wigs or just wearing fancy hats - 3D printing.

Yes, the future is here, as L'Oreal and biometics firm Poietis are testing to see if the groundbreaking technology can be used to create hair follicles that can sprout new hair, which would involve laser assisted bio-printing to produce biological tissue.

It all starts with a digital map that determines where living cells and various tissue components should be settled to create the needed biological structure, taking into account how the cells will grow over time.

All this vital information is then turned into a set of instructions for the 3D printer, which will lay down tiny drops created from cell-based bio-ink (made from tissue taken from alopecia patients after hair surgery) layer by layer.

From there it gets more futuristic, with the printing procedure involving bouncing a pulsing laser off of a mirror and through a lens which will hit a ribbon containing the essential bio-ink, leading to a droplet falling into place (10,000 of these micro-droplets can be created every second).

The completed organic tissue wold then need a certain amount of time to mature before the hair follicles begin to grow. How long is unknown at this time, as this process is said to be about three years away from being properly developed.


‘This is the holy grail that we all have in mind – to make something to put on the head of people with hair-loss problems,' states Jose Cotovio, Director of Predictive Methods and Models department at L'Oreal.

‘Hair loss is a very emotional problem for people, and this is the final target. But we get there step by step. We think this is the time. We have the knowledge and the technology.’

Wayne Rooney, there's hope for you yet.

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