Home » Niostem: Cologne startup invents wearable device to combat hair loss

Niostem: Cologne startup invents wearable device to combat hair loss

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Niostem: Cologne startup invents wearable device to combat hair loss

Cell biologist Carlos Chacón-Martinez (l.) and investment banker Emil Aliev are sure to revolutionize the market for hair loss products with Niostem. Niostem

Emil Aliev has thick, dark hair. He intentionally wears it shorter on the sides – for the undercut. The fact that the Cologne native founded a startup called Niostem in 2021 to combat hair loss is surprising at first. His co-founder Carlos Chacón-Martinez, a doctor of cell biology and inventor of a technological process that is supposed to reactivate hair stem cells, also wears his long mat tied into a braid.

Your product, a wearable device that looks like headphones, could help millions of sufferers. To do this, electrodes built into the device, which emerge as short spikes, send mechanical signals to so-called follicles. These vesicular structures surround the hair root and drive hair growth. In a pilot study with 22 male test subjects who wore the wearable for 30 minutes a day, it was shown after six months that all participants had new hair growth and no more hair fell out.

Founder Chacón-Martinez discovered the method during his research work at the Max Planck Institute. There, the Colombian native actually wanted to find out why hair stem cells sometimes transform into skin cancer cells. “Hair follicles are the growth engine for hair and skin,” says the scientist. “The basic idea was to understand why hair stem cells go bad and then find a way to block or reverse the process.”

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