Scientists in Japan claim the solution to hair loss may be lying in the chemicals used to cook McDonald's french fries.
Researchers at Yokohama National University used dimethylpolysiloxane, a chemical used in the silicone added McDonald's deep frying oil, to mass produce hair follicles.
According to the study published in the journal Biomaterials, the experiment was a success when the follicles were transplanted onto mice, and is expected to eventually work on humans.
The research team said they experienced a breakthrough when they were able to simultaneously generate up to 5,000 hair follicle germs (HFG) on each rodent.
Once mice had the hair follicles transplanted onto their naked skin, researchers said new hairs quickly sprouted back in the targeted areas.
“The key for the mass production of HFGs was a choice of substrate materials for the culture vessel,” Professor Junji Fukuda said. “We used oxygen-permeable dimethylpolysiloxane (PDMS) at the bottom of culture vessel, and it worked very well.”
“These self-sorted hair follicle germs (HFGs) were shown to be capable of efficient hair-follicle and shaft generation upon injection into the backs of nude mice,” Fukuda said.
While the treatment still needs further research, Fukuda is hopeful it will someday see success with humans.
"This simple method is very robust and promising," Fukuda said. "We hope that this technique will improve human hair regenerative therapy to treat hair loss such as androgenic alopecia."
"In fact, we have preliminary data that suggests human HFG formation using human keratinocytes and dermal papilla cells," he added.
Do you know someone who would benefit from this experiment?