Nanotechnology-based techniques for hair follicle regeneration

Biomaterials. 2023 Nov:302:122348. doi: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2023.122348. Epub 2023 Oct 14.


The hair follicle (HF) is a multicellular complex structure of the skin that contains a reservoir of multipotent stem cells. Traditional hair repair methods such as drug therapies, hair transplantation, and stem cell therapy have limitations. Advances in nanotechnology offer new approaches for HF regeneration, including controlled drug release and HF-specific targeting. Until recently, embryogenesis was thought to be the only mechanism for forming hair follicles. However, in recent years, the phenomenon of wound-induced hair neogenesis (WIHN) or de novo HF regeneration has gained attention as it can occur under certain conditions in wound beds. This review covers HF-specific targeting strategies, with particular emphasis on currently used nanotechnology-based strategies for both hair loss-related diseases and HF regeneration. HF regeneration is discussed in several modalities: modulation of the hair cycle, stimulation of progenitor cells and signaling pathways, tissue engineering, WIHN, and gene therapy. The HF has been identified as an ideal target for nanotechnology-based strategies for hair regeneration. However, some regulatory challenges may delay the development of HF regeneration nanotechnology based-strategies, which will be lastly discussed.

Keywords: Hair follicle; Hair follicle regeneration; Nanofiber; Nanoparticle; Nanotechnology; Tissue engineering.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Hair Follicle*
  • Hair*
  • Regeneration / physiology
  • Skin / metabolism
  • Tissue Engineering / methods