Mediteknia Skin & Hair Lab
One of the aims of Mediteknia is its commitment to innovation in the field of research into the hair follicle. A heavy investment of money, effort and expectations saw the inauguration of a research laboratory, the “Mediteknia Skin & Hair Lab”, in the facilities of the clinic at the start of 2015, designed to contribute to the search for new projects in our field.
Our laboratory forms part of the Medical Pathology Group of the Biomedical Research Institute of the University de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.
We have the great fortune to work in close collaboration with state-of-the-art European research centres, including the Institute of Inflammation and Repair of Manchester University, England, headed by Professor Ralf Paus and the Monasterium Laboratory in Münster, Germany, headed by Dr. Marta Bertolini and Professor Ralf Paus. We are presently working with these centres on a number of related research projects.
Below are a few photographs of visits of researchers from these leading centres in England and Germany who came here to carry out different experiments in our clinic:
From left to right: Dr. Jiménez Acosta, Dr. Irene Hernández, both from Mediteknia Clinic, and Dr. Nathan Hawkshaw from Manchester University during his visit to our research laboratory in the clinic.
From left to right: Dr.Talveen Purba from Manchester University performing lab tests along side Dr. Jiménez Acosta.
From left to right: Carlos Mateo, lab technician, Dr. Christopher Platt from Manchester University on a visit to our facilities to analyse the behaviour of hair follicles, and Dr. Jiménez Acosta.
From left to right: Dra. Irene Hernández and Dr. Jonathan Hardman from Manchester University hard at work analysing biological samples.
Our laboratory also collaborates on a regular basis with Professor Enrique Poblet of the Pathology Department of the University of Murcia, and with Professor Ander Izeta, cell biologist and head of the Department of Tissue Engineering of the Instituto Biodonostia in San Sebastián, Spain.
Since the inauguration of our “Mediteknia Skin & Hair Lab”, we have embarked upon various lines of research with the aim of enhancing our knowledge of the biology of the hair follicle, testing new techniques and products related to hair growth and maintenance.
Dr. Irene Hernández, from the “Mediteknia Skin & Hair Lab”.
In our laboratory, an incubator is used for the ex vivo culture of hair follicles, which are preserved in culture for one week.. During this time, we subject them to different types of treatment with a view to studying how they respond to or behave under different conditions. Some of these treatments can stimulate follicular growth, while others may slow it down. Amongst other variables, we observe and keep records of the speed of growth and the maintenance or otherwise of the follicular structure.
We then perform histological studies. Histology is a science which studies the microscopic morphology of tissue cell structures, in our case of the hair follicle. The human hair follicle can be regarded as an example of an organ in miniature. One of the aspects we are most interested in is the characterization of the different cell populations which form part of the human hair follicle (stem cells, keratinocytes, mesenchymal cells, etc.). We aim to analyse how each of the treatments we subject the hair follicles to affects these different cell populations.
Dr. Jiménez Acosta, Medical Director of the Mediteknia Clinic and the “Mediteknia Skin & Hair Lab”.
Using sophisticated techniques, including immunofluorescence and immunohistochemistry, we attempt to identify these cell populations, pinpointing specific cells or molecules the variations in which (that is to say, their increase or decrease) can give us clues as to what is taking place in the heart of the follicle. One example is the analyses we undertake of follicular stem cells, the activation of which could constitute a major advancement in the field of dermatology.
The purpose behind all the studies we carry out is to extrapolate the results with a view to possible new treatments for our patients in the future. We have obtained some very promising initial results showing us the way forward and, though the work we have done is just the beginning, we are very hopeful and excited about the benefits of our future investigations and research.
In February of 2017, we organised the annual scientific Meeting for Hair Follicle Disease. Making Gran Canaria a reference point in this field, a number of prestigious international researchers attended the event to share their studies, projects and research work on the behaviour of the hair follicle in the search for advances in treatments and techniques to avoid hair loss and favour hair growth. These researchers came from all parts of Spain, including San Sebastián and Murcia, from England and Germany in Europe, and from as far afield as Israel and Singapore.
Participants Doctors at “VII Piliferos Meeting” in Gran Canaria.