AsianScientist (Sep. 24, 2018) – In a study published in ACS Nano, researchers in South Korea have developed a wearable device that can stimulate hair growth.
Alopecia, or excessive hair loss, affects millions of men and women worldwide and can cause stress and anxiety. The condition is known to be caused by genetics, stress, aging and elevated male hormones, and common treatments include medications such as minoxidil or corticosteroid injections and hair transplant surgery.
Some studies have shown that stimulating the skin with lasers can help regrow hair. However, the equipment to do this is often large, consumes a large amount of energy and is impractical for home use.
In this study, researchers led by Professor Lee Keon Jae at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology in South Korea have developed a flexible, wearable photostimulator that can be worn on human skin. The team fabricated an ultrathin array of flexible vertical micro-light-emitting diodes (μLEDs) consisting of 900 red μLEDs on a chip.
The device is slightly smaller than a postage stamp, is only 20 μm thick and uses almost 1,000 times less power per unit area than a conventional phototherapeutic laser. Importantly, the device did not become so hot as to cause thermal damage to human skin.
The scientists also demonstrated that their device was sturdy and flexible, enduring up to 10,000 cycles of bending and unbending. When tested on mice, the device was shown to enhance hair regrowth. Compared with untreated mice or those receiving minoxidil injections, the mice treated with the μLED patch for 15 minutes a day for 20 days showed significantly faster hair growth, a wider regrowth area and longer hairs.
The article can be found at: Lee et al. (2018) Trichogenic Photostimulation Using Monolithic Flexible Vertical AlGaInP Light-Emitting Diodes.
Source: American Chemical Society; Photo: Pixabay.
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