Here is what Dr. Lauster
and his team is trying to accomplish - in the laboratory ...
SEM images taken from developing microfollicles. After adding keratinocytes and melanocytes to the culture medium a loosen attachment to the neopapilla is seen (A). Polarization of the early aggregate (B). Assembly, orientation and sheath formation (C); microfollicle with fiber production (D).
The ability to create an organoid, the smallest functional unit of an organ, in vitro across many human tissues and organs is the key to both efficient transplant generation and predictive preclinical testing regimes.
The hair follicle is an organoid that has been much studied based on its ability to grow quickly and to regenerate after trauma. Replacing hair lost due to pattern baldness or more severe alopecia, including that induced by chemotherapy, remains a significant unmet medical need. By carefully analyzing and recapitulating the growth and differentiation mechanisms of hair follicle formation, we recreated human hair follicles in tissue culture that were capable of producing a hair shaft and revealed a striking similarity to their in vivo counterparts.
Extensive molecular and electron microscopy analysis were used to track the assembly of follicular keratinocytes, melanocytes and fibroblasts into the final hair shaft producing microfollicle architecture. The hair follicle
generation process was optimized in terms of efficiency, reproducibility and compliance with regulatory requirements for later transplantation
So, according to this, he is trying to produce lots of hair follicles (so called proto-hairs) IN THE LABORATORY (in vitro) for later TRANSPLANTATION onto bald skins - like normal hair transplants.
There is no need for lots of extractions of follicles from your occiput via FUE and/or FUT - just implantation of the in a lab cloned and multiplied hair follicles.
A pretty expensive procedure - you can calculate at least 10-15 Dollar for 1 single (lab-cloned) hair follicle. Furthermore, the same problem as with normal hair transplants: You CAN'T place/implant too many follicles into the recipient area all at once (you have to make lots of small slits or holes where they can implant 1-3 follicles into 1 slit), because this would be too risky (necrosis etc etc). So, a norwood 6 or 7 candidate, would still need multiple (rather expensive) implantation procedures - once they are indeed able to produce working proto-hairs/follicles in the lab, ready for transplantation.