Repeated Microneedle Stimulation Induces Enhanced Hair Growth in a Murine Model

Ann Dermatol. 2016 Oct;28(5):586-592. doi: 10.5021/ad.2016.28.5.586. Epub 2016 Sep 30.


Background: Microneedle is a method that creates transdermal microchannels across the stratum corneum barrier layer of skin. No previous study showed a therapeutic effect of microneedle itself on hair growth by wounding.

Objective: The aim of this study is to investigate the effect of repeated microwound formed by microneedle on hair growth and hair growth-related genes in a murine model.

Methods: A disk microneedle roller was applied to each group of mice five times a week for three weeks. First, to identify the optimal length and cycle, microneedles of lengths of 0.15 mm, 0.25 mm, 0.5 mm, and 1 mm and cycles of 3, 6, 10, and 13 cycles were applied. Second, the effect of hair growth and hair-growth-related genes such as Wnt3a, β-catenin, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), and Wnt10b was observed using optimized microneedle. Outcomes were observed using visual inspection, real-time polymerase chain reaction, and immunohistochemistry.

Results: We found that the optimal length and cycle of microneedle treatment on hair growth was 0.25 mm/10 cycles and 0.5 mm/10 cycles. Repeated microneedle stimulation promoted hair growth, and it also induced the enhanced expression of Wnt3a, β-catenin, VEGF, and Wnt10b.

Conclusion: Our study provides evidence that microneedle stimulation can induce hair growth via activation of the Wnt/β-catenin pathway and VEGF. Combined with the drug delivery effect, we believe that microneedle stimulation could lead to new approaches for alopecia.

Keywords: Alopecia; Hair; Hair follicle; Microneedle.