Plucked hair: How to get stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells for future clinical applications

Núria Montserrat, Juan Carlos Izpisúa Belmonte*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review


Generation of induced pluripotent stem cells from somatic cells by the expression of defined transcription factors has created new opportunities for the development of patient-specific therapies. Thus far, the generation of iPSCs has been performed from a variety of somatic sources. However, keratinocytes from either skin biopsies or plucked hair have shown significantly higher reprogramming efficiencies when compared to other easily accessible patient samples (e.g. a 100fold higher reprogramming efficiency than fibroblasts). In this chapter we will summarize what we have learned after many years of intense research in both the hair follicle stem cell (SC) and iPSCs fields. First, we will focus on reviewing the current knowledge of hair follicle as a source of adult SCs for cell therapy. Second, we will discuss the future challenges in utilizing hair follicle SCs for regenerative medicine. Third, we will consider the benefits of utilizing iPSCs for cell therapy. Finally, we will provide a detailed a step-by-step protocol for the generation of human iPSCs from keratinocytes derived from a single plucked hair sample.

Original languageEnglish (US)
PublisherWageningen Academic Publishers
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9789086867288
ISBN (Print)9789086861743
StatePublished - Jan 1 2012


  • Cell therapy
  • Hair follicle
  • Induced pluripotent stem cells
  • Reprogramming
  • Stem cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Medicine


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