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New Aspects of the Structure of Human Scalp Hair-II: Tubular Structure and Material Flow Property of the Medulla

Journal of Cosmetic Science | Vol. 69 No. 1
Authored by Asao Yamauchi and Kiyoshi Yamauchi


Asian scalp hair fibers were made thin by treatment with papain or sliced along the longitudinal axis or randomly cut by mechanical means. Optical microscopic observations of the resulting specimens indicated that (i) the medulla (M) consisted of two types of the M-surrounding cells which were linearly linked one another to form a tubular structure running through the fiber and (ii) the drum-shaped vesicles containing small proteinous granules were neatly or sparsely stored within the tube. On the other hand, H and OH − ions were able to move spontaneously from one end to another through the M tube. Large molecules such as an anthocyanin dye (from purple sweet potato) were also capable of flowing through the M tube, especially rapidly when DC voltage was applied between the two ends of the hair fiber. The possible function of the M is briefly discussed in conjunction with the tubular structure and the material flow property.

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