Dr Gelfuso, you did a study on nano-particles for minoxidil delivery to hair follicles. Can you tell us in a simple manner, what the take away would be for an average person with hair thinning i.e. could a balding cure develop from studying this class of medication/delivery?

This research aimed to improve a therapeutic option that already exists in the market, which is topical minoxidil-based solutions. The developed system was proven to release the substance directly to the site of action, i.e. the follicles from which the hairs emerge. In addition, the drug release conveyed to work in a progressive manner throughout the day, which should reduce the number of product applications. Furthermore, the formulation does not contain any alcohol or substances that cause irritation to the scalp, which makes its’ application more convenient to the patient.

What general advice do you give to the typical male or female with alopecia?

As a pharmacist, I advise people who ask about possible treatments for baldness to see their doctor, who can evaluate what specific type of baldness they have and can recommend the most appropriate treatment.

Has this approach worked in other medications and how long before it is available to the public who have hair loss?

The reported experiments represent the first step in the development of a new product. To reach the market, the product must have some preclinical studies on animals, followed by human clinical studies. Due to the fact that it is a known molecule, minoxidil, these studies should not be so long. In addition, studies are already being conducted by our group in Brazil (18 more months estimated for completion). Next steps would depend on the pharmaceutical industry interest.

Dr. Gelfuso is a published researcher with a doctoral degree (Ph.D) in pharmaceutical technology.

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