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ACell = Hair Cloning and the End of "Limited Donor" Concerns

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karmenelec

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#1
I figured this deserves it's own thread. ACell is growing back the hairs extracted in the donor area. They are multiplying the hairs in the recipient area from 50-400%. But this is what is most exciting to me: they are successfully and consistently growing hairs in the recipient area that have been PLUCKED from the donor by a pair of tweezers for pete's sake! If that's not hair cloning I'm not sure what is...

This is not speculation or wishful thinking, this is happening as we speak. Best part is, Acell is already FDA approved and proven to be completely safe. The specific results will be announced by Dr. Cooley at the IHRS in October 2010. After that, IMHO, there will be absolutely no reason why every HT doc should not immediately employ Acell in their practice.

http://www.thebaldtruth.com/articles/hair-transplant-docs-%E2%80%9Cclone%E2%80%9D-hair-%E2%80%93-is-matristem%C2%AE-the-next-great-hair-restoration-breakthrough/

In the interview Dr. Cooley states
€œBy using plucked hair in a very specific manner, we have been able to get a new follicle to regenerate using the ACell, as well as you are not depleting it from the original site €
Also:

[size="+1"]Researchers Develop First Successful Hair Cloning Technique - Major Advancement in Hair Restoration

[/size]
Jan 06,2010 - Two leading New York and Charlotte hair transplant surgeons and researchers, Gary Hitzig, M.D. and Jerry Cooley, M.D.., have become the first medical doctors to successfully clone hair using an FDA-cleared wound healing powder called MatriStem ® MicroMatrix „¢. Using this powder, Dr. Hitzig and Dr. Cooley have been able to create a technique that multiplies the number of hair follicles in an area that had previously stopped growing hair €“ a breakthrough that many hair restoration researchers have been trying to accomplish.

MatriStem MicroMatrix, a product of regenerative medicine innovator, ACell, Inc., is a wound healing powder that promotes healing and tissue growth and has now proven to help regenerate hair in the donor and recipient regions of hair transplant patients. While intended for diabetic ulcers, venous ulcers, pressure ulcers, traumatic wounds, second degree burns, surgical wounds (donor sites/grafts) and trauma wounds, Hitzig and Cooley have found that its properties offer a broader scope of treatment, including hair cloning.

MatriStem fundamentally changes wound healing by triggering new blood vessel formation at the wound site, as well as providing a favorable substrate for host cell attachment, proliferation and differentiation. Hitzig and Cooley have also found that MatriStem causes the body to regenerate the original tissue complete with hair follicles.

€œWe've made amazing breakthroughs using MatriStem as a hair cloning tool, € said Dr. Hitzig. €œWe've been able to multiply the number of hair follicles growing in the recipient area, and as an added benefit are seeing faster hair growth. This new hair cloning technique also makes hair transplantation surgery less invasive.

€œWe are excited about the results of our preliminary studies, € said Dr. Cooley. €œBy combining the MatriStem with existing follicle components, it appears that we are able to achieve true hair regeneration. Further research will help us to refine this process to make it a consistent, reproducible technique. It may be especially well suited for those who have run out of traditional hair for transplantation. €

The original intent of the study was to see if the wound healing powder could correct scars from previous hair transplants and re-grow hair in the donor area. Successful results in treating scars led to this hair cloning breakthrough.

AND:

March 3, 2010: TRX2 Dr. Hitzig ACell interview Part 1 (Part 2 to follow):
Because of its unique ability to heal a variety of full-thickness wounds with no visible scarring, many people in the hair transplant community have been inquiring about the use of ACell MatriStem products during hair restoration procedures.
This recent press release from Dr. Jerry Cooley and Dr. Gary Hitzig indicated that the ECM products developed by ACell, Inc. might indeed be very effective for this purpose. In order to address the growing skepticism/excitement regarding ACell €™s ability to heal donor scars and regenerate donor hair, Dr. Gary Hitzig was kind enough to grant RejuveNation Premium Members with an exclusive interview to explain the procedure.
How long have you been experimenting with ACell €™s MatriStem products?
Since September 2008, when the FDA approved it for use.
How many patients have you treated?
The initial cohort I treated was between 18 and 20 people. I am currently writing a scientific article based on the results from this group; explaining the rationale behind the unique regenerative process we €™ve observed. Once all of the documentation has been organized and all of the patient follow-ups have been completed, the research will be sent to ACell for verification of claims. Publication should follow shortly thereafter.
More recently, however, I €™ve been able to treat a slightly larger group with a much wider array of applications. This is the most exciting aspect of my research.

In regards to ACell, what applications have you tested thus far?
Scar reductions, plucked hair duplication, recipient injections, virgin scalp donor regeneration and a new gel formulation.
Can you expand upon any of these applications for our readers?
Plucked hair duplication involves extracting a hair shaft from an intact follicle and using the DNA present in the bulb of that shaft to regenerate an entirely new follicle. When the plucked hair shaft is re-inserted into the scalp in combination with ACell, we can elicit a new hair growth that cycles normally and is cosmetically acceptable. This is a slightly modified version of a previous €œauto-cloning € technique that has had inconsistent results to date.
Recipient injections occur during hair transplants. We place grafts in a fashion consistent with normal hair restoration procedures, but we also inject a liquid suspension of ACell into the recipient area. Using this method, we have been able to increase hair counts from 50-400%. That means that in the best case scenario, we can get 4 follicles for every 1 that is implanted.
We are also working on a gel that can be injected in between existing hairs for this same purpose. However, it is too early to say whether or not this procedure will ultimately be successful.
How effective is auto-cloning when ACell is used? Is it possible for a complete hair transplant surgery to be conducted with only plucked hair follicles? If not, is it practical to assume that auto-cloning could be used as an adjunct to €œthicken up € a previous transplant?
I don €™t know. It would be quite tedious. It is more practical to do a transplant first, and then increase density with injections. This would be more ideal. I should note that this is still experimental, however.
Has the company been supportive of this process?
Yes, ACell has been extremely helpful during this stage of research and experimentation. The company understands that if we knew the answer to every question, we wouldn €™t be sitting here trying to figure it all out. Research starts with learning.
Think of it like this: Was Follicular Unit Extraction effective at first? No, it had its share of pros and cons. But these things are only really realized over time.
Of course it would be preferable to carry out these studies in secret, but we recognize that some people are really deeply affected by the scarring associated with prior hair transplant procedures. Like anyone else, I don €™t want to give people sub-par results and I don €™t want to let people down with false hopes. Nevertheless, I also don €™t want to keep this a secret if it can potentially help a large population of people. In choosing this path, I also chose to take personal responsibility for all of the criticism that manifests. I €™m fine with that.
Having said this, expectations MUST BE OBJECTIVE. We have very clear consent forms. We do not recruit people that expect something we cannot provide. We are trying our best, and we do have very promising preliminary results. But, like they say, €œprior successes are not an indication of future results. € Wound healing and regeneration is quite a variable process. ACell understands this, we understand this, and our patients understand this.
Why do you think this process works?
This is something I plan on extrapolating upon with the current article I €™m working on.
It €™s pretty technical, but I can summarize it like this: Essentially, all tissue has an extracellular matrix (ECM). I like to call it €œmother nature €™s biological scaffold. € It €™s a production of a chemical that each tissue possesses for its specific phenotype. ECM is the primary tool for cellular attachment, production and final differentiation of tissue.
Certain areas of the body (like the bladder and small intestine) have a much higher concentrated and evolved form of ECM. Also, only certain organs have a basement membrane along with their ECM. This basement membrane is critical for healing after wound injury. It plays an important role in remodeling tissue during the healing process. ACell provides this €œscaffolding € to areas of the body that are obviously not able to regenerate themselves.
To reconstruct new tissue you need three things: 1) Cells, 2) scaffolds and 3) bioactive molecules. ACell €™s proprietary ECM provides all of these and organizes the migration and final differentiation of epidermal cells. €œLine up, differentiate, prevent the default (scar tissue). €
After the host cells are recruited, the scaffold gets broken apart and disintegrated, then the new stem cells migrate to the area and replace it with new, host-derived tissue.
This has already been demonstrated in many human and animal studies. More recently, it €™s been quite successful at repair and subsequent reconstruction of dermal structures in hundreds of thousands of patients.
Early examples: http://www.nyhairloss.com/slide7.htm




 
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pvtpoint2010

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#2
This is something I wrote at another site regarding that issue:::



""Over the past few weeks I've started researching the new ACell treatment that several are considering a medical breakthrough for skin and scar regeneration. After contacting the company, Doc Cole, Doc Cooley and several others working on the concept I found the following:

The only Doc's actually working hand in hand with the ACell company at this time is Jerry Cooley and Hitzig.

Cole is just using it as a test treatment and does not have much in line of actual achievements as of yet...He only started using it in January 2010....His personal view is that he's not to hopefull in its clonning hair capabilities but is willing to try it on scar tissue regeneration...

Now Hitzig in my opinion is nothing but a butcher AND NOTHING LESS regardless of his input on the subject....I feel he is just using this concept to lure more young guys to his table as I'm sure his reputation has started to lead many people away from his clinic......I personally feel this way for 2 reasons.....1) Hitzig's Long Island medical organization is the reason for all my scars and T-plant misfortunes due to his so called patented linier punch tools.....most if not all the grafts sunk and pitted in my extremely low at the time hairline...(1996).......2) knowing a little about his practice first hand I know all to well he HAS USED underhanded and misleading information in the past...... !

He is also in 2010 STILL USING PUNCH GRAFTS (PLUGS) in his work!!!

As for Cooley.....I spoke with his assistant a few days ago and said he will be posing his 1.5 year research on the subject in the upcoming October hair transplant seminar being held in Boston She said they have been seeing some remarkable things with scar treatments......the treatments however for hair clonning is still not applicable yet......

ACell's company in itself really is working toward the goal of tissue regeneration of body parts that may indeed include skin scar regeneration....... I will be patiently waiting for the 1.5 year update coming out in October for its credible or not so creditable treatment results""
 
K

karmenelec

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#3
Pvtpoint, you yourself have seen Cooley's pictures of the results of his plucking technique. The fact that, in your estimation, 75% of transplanted plucked hairs took root and grew is incredible and meets the definition of 'cloning'. Cooley is consistently making two hairs from one. Granted, at the moment the plucking technique only works for single hair follicles. But there is no question that this technique, while tedious and likely expensive, solves the limited donor problem.
 
Bigmac

Bigmac

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#4
Thanks for posting that Karmenelec,interesting read.

I`ll look forward to hearing more from Dr Cooley and hopefully seeing some results.
 
K

karmenelec

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#5
Cheers, mate.

I think it's important to diligently get this information out there for prospective patients, as it applies the pressure to the HT docs to adopt these advances as soon as they arrive.

As in every field, I think it's safe to assume that there are some HT docs who would prefer the status quo rather than take the time to learn new tricks. We have seen this in the past with tricho closures, lateral slit and FUE.

But if prospective patients are aware of their options, the docs will be forced to provide the service or risk losing patients to another doc who will.

I plan on getting my first HT in early 2011, and I certainly won't settle for a doc who isn't using ACell. Even if it works at a fraction of what is being claimed - ie. even if it grows back one donor hair out of every 25 - that is still one donor hair saved for the future.

Boy do I sound like an Acell shill!! But I'll happily wear that label anyway.

 
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pvtpoint2010

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[u]karmenelec[/u] A saw several pictures of what looked like a FUE sessions along with something like a plug removal that healed without a scar

In both cases the Doc said Acell was used...

Now in my personal view I have reviewed almost every aspect of the potential new technique and found that until i test it for myself and see the desired results again for myself this is still an open to opinion subject...

I too hope it works as i have several areas i want potentially fixed.....Hence the reason for the very small test...To see for myself FIRSTHAND cautiously !

But the number 75% was my own personal opinion as that's what it looked like in the photo after i asked how many grafts were plucked...No doc gave me those numbers ...

Also the reason I added the above thread is I want everyone to understand that Hitzig is not a good gauge of Acells potential treatment.....as HE'S USING 6-10 HAIR PLUGS and is more or less saying that if he gets a 12 hair plug then its acell!!...

Don't go near his clinic!

IF YOU DONT BELIEVE ME GO TO HIS WEBSITE .........and read about his transplant method!!......

I am also an unfortunate recipient of many of his clinics 6-8 hair linier plug method...... and was told this was state of the art work in 1997 and was talked out of the slit method !!!!!!!.....I was 26 and extremely dumb......!!

Its 14 years later and I'm still trying to figure out a way to undue the pitting and scarring to my hairline and 1/3 scalp.......

SO again do not go by what he is saying about Acells capabilities .......stick with Cooley for now.....

 
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karmenelec

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Pvtpoint I completely agree. My opinions are based on what I have seen and read from Dr. Cooley and Dr. Cooley only.

But let's hope the larger point isn't being missed here. The fact that Dr. Cooley can duplicate even one plucked hair using Acell is nothing short of extraordinary and revolutionary.
 
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pvtpoint2010

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#8
Check this link out !

I just found it on the net regarding an FUE patient and Acell!!

Acells Matristem (powder +sheet) application in FIT

FIT (Follicular Isolation Technique ) is a procedure in Hair transplant surgery.
It consists of removing each follicle individually with a small punch .In donor area it creates multiple wound which heals faster .Collagen fibers( scar tissue) fill those empty spaces during the healing process.
Acells Matristem technology is a naturally occurring bioscaffold derived from porcine tissue .When Matristem is placed onto a wound ,it is resorbed and replaced with new native tissue where scar tissue would normally be expected.
With this characteristics ,the A cells Matristem should fill our donor wound and regenerates terminal hairs ;rending our donor resource infinite.

We applied the Acell powder and cover it with the Acell sheet as described in our study protocol.
We would like to present the first observations we made

http://www.mywhtc.com/forum/index.php?topic=341.msg385
 
K

karmenelec

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Great find! I'm curious to hear the docs or their reps that participate on this site weigh in on this.. Perhaps Dr. Shapiros/Bisanga/HDC, Prohair/Feriduni have an opinon on all this? Are they preparing to use Acell in their procedures anytime soon? Have they contacted Dr. Cooley to learn how?
 
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miozambrotta19

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PVTPOINT-

I see that your going to Dr Cooley for the pluck procedure. How many hair will he be plucking and what is he charging you per pluck if you wont mind me asking.

Thanks.
 
My WHTC Hair Talk

My WHTC Hair Talk

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Hi Pvtpoint2010,
Thank you for your interested in our ACELL research. We observed our ACELL patient for up to a month and half. We had our control side which we did not place any ACELL and we also had our study side to which did place our ACELL. In the process of doing our research within the month and half we notice some growth but not much it was maybe 1-2 hairs. At this point we have considered our study inconclusive. We are in the process of studying a few more cases. We have focused our study on seeing hair growth in the areas in the donor areas where we remove hair to see if we are actually getting hair growth from the ACELL. When we are done with our study we will post them to let you know if we have any results.

www.mywhtc.com
 
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pvtpoint2010

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Thanks That would be great!!

However I would be more interested in Acell on scaring or hypopigmentation issues rather then growing new hairs.

If new hairs grow that would also be great.......!



Thanks


 
K

karmenelec

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I pulled this update from pvtpoint from another forum:

A short update.......

Late last week I recieved a Plucking/Acell test in a small portion of one of my 2 scars ,a few white FUE dots and an actual removal of a few more FUE white dots to see if they heal without hypo pigmentation using Acell...

in total I recieved about 100-120 plucked hairs in about 70 or so spots...

I wanted to post some pix but was told to wait till after the confrence......

Ill however keep records of the progress and post as things progress..

In general the hairs were plucked/yanked in several small areas and were basted in an Acell solution then transplanted into the desired locations

The plucked/Yanked donor hairs will grow back as good as new in a few days according to Cooley......Just like as if i tweezed them....

If it works this will be a fantastic breakthrough for scar repair and later on maybe even hairline single hair work........

The only drawback is the fact that only one hair will regrow and not a whole folicular unit .........

He also tried planting 1-3 hairs in a few spots on the scar to see if he can get 2 hairs to grow.........But do not reccomend this for hairline work......

Pvtpoint, please keep us updated with your progress! This is amazing stuff!! Dr. Cooley is an honest reputable doc who would not be doing the plucking technique and charging for it if it didn't work. Interesting that he asked you to hold off on publishing photos till after the Conference in October. I expect him to make a big splash in the hair transplant field with this discovery.
 
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pvtpoint2010

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Pvtpoint, please keep us updated with your progress!

I'll do my best!

This is amazing stuff!! Dr. Cooley is an honest reputable doc who would not be doing the plucking technique and charging for it if it didn't work.

Very True!

Interesting that he asked you to hold off on publishing photos till after the Conference in October.

He just said to wait a little longer before posting......

.My hair is covering all spots as we did not shave the area...Im waiting for him to send the after pix but will take more with my camera over the next few days it looks like FUE slits but a much darker red....from the acell

IT also itches like crazy!



I expect him to make a big splash in the hair transplant field with this discovery.



If it works as well as expected i agree!







 
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pvtpoint2010

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Ok the area still itches and is bright red but no pain...Then again we didn't do that many to begin with...But each spot looks good so far

The extra redness and early itching should be from the Acell healing the wounds faster then without it!

All in all the area looks good..........Today was the first day I wet the area in the shower

All the other days in the shower I tried my best not to get the area wet as it might have washed away the internal Acell compound........

Today I wet the back it but did not shampoo it ...I just shampoo' d the front as usual

Ill take some photo's over the weekend .......But really not much to see other then a few red dots/marks under my hair ......Ill still try to get a few close ups






 
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pvtpoint2010

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An interesting thought!

It was told to me that the acell has a tendency to make a white scar look better even without grafting hairs into it

If Acell is shown to somewhat reverse white scar tissue to a more natural tone I think I have a great Idea...

If someone has a scar they want to better I think using a type of Tattoo machine may work by adding Acell instead of inc.....

Needling the area wile filling it with a liquid Acell formula may just better the white scar to a more natural skin color as you will be breaking up the scar tissue and allow it to repair itself at the same time........

Many top plastic surgeons use needling to reduce the appearance of miner scars already but my idea includes Acell and an actual deeper type of Tattoo machine needle system..........

This idea is not just for Hair transplant scars but may be used on all sorts of scars and on all parts of the body....

Will it/could it work ??.....who knows.....!..... but i think it has merit and should be tested by a few top Doc's
 
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pvtpoint2010

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#18
Ok its been over a week now since the test.

The itching stopped after the 4th day and is now much less red

The hairs are still sticking out of the spots but was told they should start to fall out in another week or so .........Just like FUE....

But i'm still on the fence as its not FUE as a new follicle should generate in the last hairs place...!?

Sounds crazy to me !!.......:) ..........but i'm in it for the long haul at this point...lol

I was also told that I should know for sure if any took in about 3-6 months..

The 3 White dot removals also shrunk and are much less red....It too will take several months to 1 year to see if it healed without hypo pigmentation...



Ill however keep everyone posted....



I did not receive the after photo's yet.........I also took a few of my own yesterday after a trim but still cant get close enough to see much.......
 
G

Galileo

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#19
pvtpoint2010 wrote:
Ok its been over a week now since the test. The itching stopped after the 4th day and is now much less red The hairs are still sticking out of the spots but was told they should start to fall out in another week or so .........Just like FUE.... But i'm still on the fence as its not FUE as a new follicle should generate in the last hairs place...!?
Hi pvtpoint2010!

Thanks for your information.

First of all, you should carefully read the following study from 2001, because this study reports about the completely same approach of transplantation of just plucked hairs (just hair shafts, without the whole surrounding follicle):

>>>>>>>>>
2001, Oct. 27(10):913. Dermatological Surgery. Hair transplantation of plucked hair biopsies. Coen G.Gho, H.A. Martino Neumann MD, PhD

http://www.hasci.com/uploads/downloads/dermatologic_letter_to_the_editor.pdf

<<<<<<<<<

And here their result from this study from 2001:

>>>>>>>>>
From this study, we can conclude that it is not possible to use fresh plucked anagen hairs as hair transplantation grafts and that the connective tissue surrounding the epithelial structures are necessary for successful fair transplantation. The importance of this interaction between epithelial and dermal structures was also suggested by Jahoda et al.
<<<<<<<<<

The reason, WHY they €œfailed €:
They didn €™t use any kind of an extracellular matrix (ECM) including growth factors, as a necessary sort of artificial €œconnective tissue surrounding the hair shaft €. Instead of, according to their study, they just used a normal Ringers-lactate solution, which just leads to apoptosis (cell death). That means, NO WAY for any hair follicle growth/regenaration.

BUT, if you use a SUITABLE kind of "extracellular matrix" (including suitable growth factors) as substitute, such an approach COULD indeed lead to a regeneration of (mostly single) hair follicles. Actually, this €œbreakthrough € is nothing new in this field. And YES, the success rate for such an approach could be anywhere between 0 €“ 70%. That means, a little bit risky to sell such a €œbreakthrough € on a regularly clinical basis, because nobody can guarantee you anything.

To overcome ALL the connected problems (just single hairs, no suitable ECM available, no predictable results etc),you have to use at least a VERY small part of the hair shaft's NATURAL surrounding €œECM € (tissue) of FOLLICULAR UNITS, coat/culture/impregnate them (hair shafts with some natural surrounding follicle tissue) with a special solution, what finally leads to CONSISTENT hair growth on both sides: recipient area, as well as donor area, with the same characteristic of the hairs/units - Voila! €“ €œHairstemcell Transplantation € (HST) has been invented:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20388024

And now guess what will happen, if you coat VERY thin and already with a special solution impregnated HST graft (FU) in addition with ACell, just before you transplant them into the recipient site €¦

Especially HST grafts are highly "receptively" for ECM's due to the fact, that they are not whole ("intact") follicles, resp. follicular units (because it's easier for the "hair follicle stemcells" to divide and finally reorganize themselves, if they are longitudinally resp. tubularly transected). All in all - this leads finally to a FULL head of hair again (of course, WITHOUT any kind of scars at the donor site),with just a few (small) procedures.
 
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pvtpoint2010

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#20
New update on Dr Cole's website:

Dr. Cole has been offering ACell treatment to his Cole Isolation Technique (CIT) patients since the product received FDA approval for use in humans. We are pleased to report that we have seen some remarkable benefits to this treatment already. In addition to promoting rapid and complete healing post-surgery, ACell appears to hold great promise in improving the aesthetic result in the donor region post-transplant.

Some Follicular Unit Extraction patients develop small white dotting, or hypopigmentation, in their extraction sites. With the use of ACell, we €™ve seen some evidence that this product, delivered to extraction sites, may help prevent hypopigmentation altogether. We have even observed a small amount of hair re-growth in extraction sites treated with ACell. In the wake of such promising findings, Dr. Cole has determined that it is now time to proceed with clinical trials to evaluate the true capabilities of ACell.

The Cole Isolation Technique is being even further refined with the incorporation of Dr. Cole €™s newest motorized instrument. This equipment makes the extraction process faster, using smaller punches, than ever before. With his powered follicular extraction device, Dr. Cole has the capability to safely remove up to 6,000 grafts in a single day. We are hopeful that the widespread adoption of Dr. Cole €™s techniques and this instrument will ultimately make quality hair restoration surgery more affordable and accessible to hair loss sufferers worldwide.




It looks like Dr Cole's clinic is jumping on the Acell bandwagon......And I hope we as a group ( This site along with others ) had a hand to play in it with our recent Acell posts....


It was only 2 months ago he felt Acell was just a shot in the dark regarding hypo pigmentation issues!!! .......