Good points, roger_that.
Regarding your first point (follicle time outside the body): of course, this is crucial. According to Dr. Cole it’s generally possible to keep the follicle alive up to 45 days outside the body, but without damaging the follicle.
So it is important to start the repair process with the prepared multiplied cells once the follicle is cut into two halves a.s.a.p. (within a few minutes), and provide the bisected follicles with additional magical stuff in the dish (growth factors, oxygen, etc.). Generally I assume that a damaged follicle tries to repair itself immediately as good as possible. So we need to help the follicle with the regeneration with the supply of all the lost cells etc.
I think that there is chance that bisected follicles can be repaired this way in-vitro, though not easy.
second point: you’re probably right. the simplified model doesn’t include the bulge. Also, many follicle illustrations which can be found on google, do not include the bulge, but it seems that it’s an important part of the follicle providing a reservoir for stemcells. Unfortunately it looks that the bulge act like a kind of entry point to the follicle, and the bulge is not surrounding the whole follicle by 360°. Therefore, it’s also probably not good visible under the microscope. If it can be identified under magnification, it’s maybe possible to make the cut exactly (more or less) at the bulge, so that the halves look really the same and contain the same cells.
Maybe Dr. Nigam can answer this question.
Mabye this and other difficulties are the reason, why Dr. Nigam cuts the follicle the other way, because it’s simply not possible, to cut it exactly into two identical halves.
I don’t know, but I’m also still wondering, when looking at all these different cells of a hair follicle: how is it even possible to bio-engineer a follicle in the lab without including bulge, sebaceaous gland etc.?
Because, if you remember Dr. Lausters engineered follicle in the lab from scratch, it was a follicle which already produced real hair! not as thick as normal hair, but anyway, it was a hair producing organ. And I think, this engineered follicle didn’t contain a bulge, and also not sure about the rest of the anatomy (inner and outer sheath, or the matrix cells located at the dermal papilla). The main question for me is: what components do we need to create a working follicle in the lab and which components can be omitted?