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Medtech Impact on Wellness

Hasan Erbil Abaci, Assistant Professor at Columbia University Medical Center, delivers an extensive overview of tissue engineering, specifically in regard to hair follicles.

Abaci has published his work in many areas of scientific research including the following: Tissue engineering of human hair follicles using a biomimetic developmental approach, Human Skin Constructs with Spatially Controlled Vasculature Using Primary and iPSC-Derived Endothelial Cells, Human-on-a-chip design strategies and principles for physiologically based pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic modeling, and many more.

Abaci discusses skin, a very complex organ composed of many different components that goes much deeper than simply the dermis and epidermis we typically think of. He talks about how hair follicles are connected, and how they are very complex organs themselves. Abaci describes how hair follicles function and how they communicate with other tissues in the skin, such as the blood vessels, for example. He explains how cells within the skin system can signal, and how tissues regenerate. Abaci talks about hair follicles, in regard to their growth cycle, and how this process requires newly formed blood vessels and a custom supply of blood.

Abaci explains the geometry. He explains in detail how they work with their samples in the lab, providing information on their use of 3D printed molds with hair follicle extensions embedded.

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He discusses the hydrogel that forms around the hair follicle-like extensions, and how they work with this process to explore the open channels that now have the geometry of actual hair follicles.

Abaci discusses what we know and don’t know about the chemical and physical signaling within the body.

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But if researchers can decipher how some of these processes work it may be possible to recreate signals in vitro, then scientists will have insight into how to grow hair follicles efficiently—in vitro.

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And as Abaci explains, this—is the crux of true tissue engineering.

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