Hair regrew thicker in mice treated with an MnMNP (right). (Credit: Adapted from Nano Letters 2022, DOI: 10.1021/acs.nanolett. 2c03119)

Researchers have used artificial intelligence (AI) to predict compounds that could neutralize baldness-causing reactive oxygen species in the scalp. They constructed a proof-of-concept microneedle patch and effectively regenerated hair on mice.

The team chose transition-metal thiophosphate compounds as potential nanozyme candidates. They tested machine-learning models with 91 different transition-metal, phosphate, and sulfate combinations, and the techniques predicted that MnPS3 would have the most powerful SOD-like ability.

Next, MnPS3 nanosheets were synthesized through chemical vapor transport of manganese, red phosphorus, and sulfur powders. In initial tests with human skin fibroblast cells, the nanosheets significantly reduced the levels of reactive oxygen species without causing harm.

Based on these results, the team prepared MnPS3 microneedle patches and treated androgenic alopecia-affected mouse models with them. Within 13 days, the animals regenerated thicker hair strands that more densely covered their previously bald backsides than mice treated with testosterone or minoxidil.

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