The hair follicle and its stem cells as drug delivery targets

Author: Hoffman, Robert M

Source: Expert Opinion on Drug Delivery, Volume 3, Number 3, May 2006 , pp. 437-443(7)

Publisher: Informa Healthcare

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The hair follicle is a skin appendage with a complex structure containing many cell types that produce highly specialised proteins. The hair follicle is in a continuous cycle: anagen is the hair growth phase, catogen the involution phase and telogen is the resting phase. The follicle offers many potential therapeutic targets. Hoffman and colleagues have pioneered hair-follicle-specific targeting using liposomes to deliver small and large molecules, including genes. They have also pioneered ex vivo hair-follicle targeting with continued expression of the introduced gene following transplantation. Recently, it has been discovered that hair follicle stem cells are highly pluripotent and can form neurons, glial cells and other cell types, and this has suggested that hair follicle stem cells may serve as gene therapy targets for regenerative medicine.

Keywords: adenovirus; gene therapy; hair follicle; liposome; stem cell

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: May 1, 2006

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