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Medical Director, Dr Bessam Farjo, talks Hair Follicle Banking at the 46th Italian Society for Hair Science and Restoration Congress in Milan

By June 10, 2024June 11th, 2024No Comments

The 46th Italian Society for Hair Science and Restoration (S.I.Tri) Congress took place over several days from 23rd to 25th May 2024 in Milan, Italy and was followed by a live surgery workshop in collaboration with the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (ISHRS). The event gathered experts from across the globe to discuss and share the latest in surgical techniques, trichology and regenerative medicine.

HairClone’s Medical Director and Clinical Partner, Dr Bessam Farjo, participated in several activities during the congress. On Saturday 26th May 2024, Dr Farjo presented a talk during the Regenerative Medicine session of the congress entitled “Hair Follicle Banking for Future Regenerative Therapies”. In this talk, Dr Farjo discussed the importance and potential of banking hair follicles, as they provide a rich source of different cell types capable of treating hair and other non-hair-related conditions. He also talked about HairClone’s current hair follicle banking service for patients, which is the first step to provide material for future regenerative therapies. Such therapies include HairClone’s cell therapy that is currently under development, which aims to rejuvenate miniaturising hairs in those experiencing androgenetic alopecia (pattern hair loss).

With the hair banking service, hair follicles are extracted using a minimally invasive surgical procedure, either as a stand-alone procedure or alongside a hair transplant surgery. The extracted follicles, and the cells within, are then cryopreserved in HairClone’s follicle bank. Stem-like cells residing at the base of these follicles, known as dermal papilla cells, have many potential uses in regenerative medicine. This includes HairClone’s personalised cell therapy for hair rejuvenation and regeneration.  Additional cell types are also preserved that have wide-reaching potential for regenerative treatment, from treating vision loss to repairing nerve damage.

Other congress-related activities Dr Farjo participated in included moderating the Comparative Studies in Hair Restoration Surgery session and, as one of three ISHRS international ambassadors, delivered an opening presentation on behalf of the society. Additionally, on Sunday 28th May, Dr Farjo continued to share his knowledge and expertise as an auditorium moderator during the ISHRS Live Surgery Workshop at the San Raffaele Hospital in Milan. This workshop consisted of three intervention rooms where surgeons simultaneously performed varying hair transplant techniques and regenerative procedures using new generation devices. Participants were able to move between each operating room, or watch via a broadcast in an auditorium, to observe these interventions occurring in real-time. This provided attendees with a unique and immersive experience, while concurrently learning about the latest transplantation methods and innovative regenerative medicine treatments.

Prior to the congress, S.I.Tri organised a 4-day Cycling Tour in the hills of the Langhe wine region of Piedmont in Italy, which both Drs Bessam and Nilofer Farjo participated in. The route featured beautiful scenes of vineyards, ancient castles, quaint parish churches and farmhouses. There was also the opportunity to enjoy lunch at a family-owned restaurant in the Langhe hills and visit a local winery and cellar. This tour provided a relaxed environment for attendees to meet informally before participating in a educational programme on hair science and restorative medicine at the congress.

The International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (ISHRS) is a global non-profit association for hair loss treatment and restoration. It promotes the highest standards of medical practice, ethos and research in the industry. With over 1000 members across 70 counties, the society is dedicated to achieving excellence in patient outcomes. The Italian Society for Hair Science and Restoration (S.I.Tri) was established in 1996 to promote scientific research and training in both medical and surgical trichology. In 2024, they opened the post-university Training School in Trichological Sciences, providing courses in the clinical, morphological and pathological aspects of hair and scalp conditions for a new generation of young Trichologists.