AI helps researchers create microneedle patches that restore hair in bald mice | 2020 | Tech Rasta


Hair loss is undesirable for many men — and women, as one’s hairstyle is often associated with their self-confidence. And while some people embrace it, others want to regrow their lost strands. Now, researchers report in the ACS’ Nano letters Artificial intelligence (AI) was used to predict compounds that neutralize reactive oxygen species that cause baldness on the scalp. Using the best candidate, they built a proof-of-concept microneedle patch and effectively regenerated hair on mice.

Many people with significant hair loss have the condition androgenic alopecia, also known as male- or female-pattern baldness. In this condition, hair follicles are damaged by androgens, inflammation, or an excess of reactive oxygen species such as oxygen free radicals. When levels of oxygen free radicals become too high, they can overwhelm the body’s antioxidant enzymes, which normally keep them in check. Superoxide dismutase (SOD) is one of these enzymes, and researchers have recently created SOD mimics called “nanozymes.” But so far, those reported are not very good at scavenging oxygen free radicals. So, Lina Wang, Xiling Zhu and colleagues wanted to see if machine learning, a form of AI, could help them design a better nanozyme for hair loss treatment.

The researchers selected transition-metal thiophosphate compounds as potential nanozyme candidates. They tested machine-learning models with 91 different transition-metal, phosphate, and sulfate combinations and predicted that the techniques were MnPS.3 Has a very potent SOD-like ability. Next, MnPS3 Nanosheets were synthesized by chemical vapor deposition of manganese, red phosphorus and sulfur powders. In preliminary tests with human skin fibroblast cells, the nanosheets significantly reduced levels of reactive oxygen species without causing damage.

Based on these results, the team prepared MnPS3 Microneedle patches and androgenic alopecia-affected mouse models treated with them. At 13 days, the animals regenerated thicker hair strands than mice treated with testosterone or minoxidil. The researchers say their study has produced a nanozyme treatment for regenerating hair and suggests potential for computer-based methods for use in designing future nanozyme therapeutics.

The authors acknowledge funding from the National Natural Science Foundation of China and the Natural Science Foundation of Shandong Province of China.

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Materials provided American Chemical Society. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


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