When a hair is plucked, the hair follicle is also removed. The hair follicle is a small tubular structure in the skin that surrounds the base of a hair strand. The hair follicle contains several different types of cells, including:
Epithelial cells: Keratinocytes are a type of epithelial cell that produce keratin, a protein that makes up the hair strand. They also make up the majority of the skin cells. These cells make up the lining of the hair follicle and produce the hair strand.
- Connective tissue cells: Fibroblasts are a type of connective tissue cell that produce collagen and elastin, which provide strength and elasticity to the hair follicle. They are also responsible for the repair and maintenance of hair follicles.
- Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are present in the hair follicle. MSCs are a type of adult stem cell that have the ability to differentiate into different types of cells. It is also known that MSCs in hair follicles are able to migrate and participate in wound healing and tissue repair, they also have a potential to be used in regenerative medicine, as they can be easily isolated, expanded in culture and differentiated into multiple cell types.
Other cell types might also be present like melanocytes, nerve cells and Merkle cells. The small size and diversity of cell types is one of the primary reasons Acorn is focused on this ideal cell source.