on-invasively gained stem cells with low-sample requirements are a definitive ?one-up? in regenerative therapies. Perhaps the
most non-invasively accessible source of adult stem cells - hair folicle - has been unjustly utilized only to a modest extent.
The harmlessly obtained hair follicle Outer Root Sheath (ORS) carries a resident cell pool with developmental potential for more
than ten types of differentiated cells.
Our research at the Translational Centre for Regenerative Medicine in Leipzig (TRM) focuses on melanocytes and
keratinocytes from ORS. Those cells are used for growing ?patches? of in-vitro-ex-vivo developed autologous artificial skin. ORS
keratinocyte-based epidermal equivalents have already been used as grafts for treating chronic wounds at the Department of
Dermatology, Leipzig University Clinic and marketed as Epidex? by Euroderm [email protected] GmBH.
For the purposes of producing a melanocyte-pigmented graft, we have differentiated ORS adult stem cells from plucked
anagene hair follicle into a pure culture of functional melanocytes. Those melanocytes are ready to be grafted as cell suspension
or stabilized by a synthetic or epidermis-based carrier. Such melanocyte-containing graft, with an absolutely harmless sampling
and end application, is the most promising candidate for a causative, non-invasive autologous treatment of Vitiligo and other
depigmentation disorders brought about by melanocyte defficiency.
Additional to yielding epidermal precursors, the hair root harbours potential of giving rise to chondrocytes, osteocytes,
smooth muscle, cardiomyocites, neurons, glia and other cell types. Such promise of broad regenerative propensity, along with its
non-invasiveness, makes hair root an extremely attractive model for future regenerative medicine applications
Vuk Savkovic is a Group Leader at the Translational Centre for Regenerative Medicine (TRM) in Leipzig. He worked at Belgrade University in the
field of Genetics before taking up PhD Program in cellular biochemistry at Leipzig University. He was involved in embryonic stem cell research at
Fraunhofer Institute for Cell Therapy and Immunology and later on joined TRM. His research deals with developmental potential of adult stem cells
from hair follicle and its applicative end, with an intensive focus on melanocytes. Besides his research at TRM, he is currently involved in international
cooperations dealing with skin and cartilage cell development
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