A new dissolvable microneedle patch could treat baldness and help hair regrow quickly. (Credit: docent/Shutterstock.com)

Researchers have designed a minimally invasive way to deliver cerium-containing nanoparticles near hair roots deep under the skin to promote hair regrowth. As a first step, they coated cerium nanoparticles with a biodegradable polyethylene glycol-lipid compound. Then they made the dissolvable microneedle patch by pouring a mixture of hyaluronic acid — a substance that is naturally abundant in human skin — and cerium-containing nanoparticles into a mold.

The team tested control patches and the cerium-containing ones on male mice with bald spots formed by a hair removal cream. Both applications stimulated the formation of new blood vessels around the mice’s hair follicles. However, those treated with the nanoparticle patch showed faster signs of hair undergoing a transition in the root, such as earlier skin pigmentation and higher levels of a compound found only at the onset of new hair development.

These mice also had fewer oxidative stress compounds in their skin. Finally, the researchers found that the cerium-containing microneedle patches resulted in faster mouse hair regrowth with similar coverage, density, and diameter compared with a leading topical treatment and could be applied less frequently. Microneedle patches that introduce cerium nanoparticles into the skin are a promising strategy to reverse balding for androgenetic alopecia patients, the researchers say.

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Medical Design Briefs Magazine

This article first appeared in the October, 2021 issue of Medical Design Briefs Magazine.

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