Human scalp skin and hair follicles (HF) are densely innervated by sensory peripheral nerve fibers (NF). This crosstalk between skin and nerves suggests that neuro-mediators released by cutaneous NFs effect human epidermis and HF function and vice-versa. Imbalance in this complex bi-directional communication may contribute in the development of several skin and hair disorders e.g. neurogenic skin inflammation.
To fully understand the role of nerve fiber innervation, we established a novel humanized re-innervation ex vivo model. For this, we placed full-thickness human scalp skin punches directly onto a layer of human iPSC-derived neural stem cells. After 7 days of organ culture, the skin is completely re-innervated by the newly developed nerve fibers.
NEW: Our novel completely humanized re-innervation model has now been accepted by the scientific community as a corresponding article has been published in the highest ranked journal for experimental dermatology. Read more here: Sensory Reinnervation of Human Skin by Human Neural Stem Cell‒Derived Peripheral Neurons Ex Vivo – Journal of Investigative Dermatology (jidonline.org)
In addition, we also offer complementary analysis for investigating the subtypes of cutaneous nerve fiber, release of neuromediators, and activation of neurons (check our expertise in neurobiology).
One of the major advantages of our skin re-innervation model is that it is an animal free platform. Our model can be utilized for dissecting and manipulating the bi-directional communication between human sensory NFs with defined skin cell populations in native human skin under physiological and pathological conditions. Our model opens up the possibility of pre-clinical testing of different cosmeceuticals that target the cross-talk between human skin/hair follicles and cutaneous nerve fibers.