Simple and rapid method to isolate and culture follicular papillae from human scalp hair follicles

Markus Magerl, Söbia Kauser, Ralf Paus, Desmond J. Tobin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

62 Scopus citations


Study of the involvement of the hair follicle papilla in hair growth regulation was greatly facilitated by the isolation and cultivation of this tiny cluster of fibroblast-like cells in the rat vibrissae and in the human hair follicle. While isolation of the hair follicle papilla from the former is relatively straightforward, the current method to isolate the much smaller human hair follicle requires significant skill. Thus, the routine initiation of primary cultures of human scalp hair follicle papilla cells requires significant training, time, and commitment. In an attempt to simplify hair follicle papilla cell culture methodology for new laboratory personnel, we have made significant refinements to the current method. Our method requires only two simple manipulations to isolate hair follicle papilla from intact isolated hair follicles. This very rapid and easy method isolates clean and intact hair follicle papillae. Together with their attachment via scratching to the growth surface, the isolation and cultivation of this important hair follicle component can now be achieved easily by the laboratory newcomer. The method relies for its simplicity on the removal of the hair follicle papilla from the outside of the intact hair follicle rather than via internal manipulations from within the hair follicle.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)381-385
Number of pages5
JournalExperimental dermatology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2002
Externally publishedYes



  • Cell culture
  • Dermal papilla
  • Hair follicle
  • Hair follicle papilla
  • Microdissection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Dermatology

Cite this