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Follica Microneedling Protocol Patent Disclosed

Discussion in 'New Research, Studies, and Technologies' started by benjt2, Jan 25, 2020.

  1. benjt2

    benjt2 Established Member My Regimen

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    Since @Xander94 opened his Follica dermabrasion device patent thread, I did some digging into other patents by Follica. And, guess what: Another one has been filed: Methods for promoting hair growth. It is much more recent than the one found by Xander and it is about microneedling. Thus, as this looks much more like "the real deal", I decided to dedicate a separate thread for it.

    I actually read the whole patent. Here is the short version of Follica's preferred protocol (they have different protocol versions):
    • The primary target is to produce 1600 thin needle wounds per cm² every two weeks (their preferred parameter configuration is: using a 12 needle head (2 rows with 6 needles) with a width of 0.9 cm at a movement speed of 2 cm per second and an osicllation speed of 120 Hz)
    • Needling device: electric dermaneedling device. They specifically state that dermarollers and dermabrasion devices are less effective. About dermarollers they write that tearing and cut-like wounds are ineffective for neogenesis and that one has to aim for real, "pointy" needle wounds without any tearing or cutting.
    • Needle target depth: 0.8 mm. For long hair, this can be increased to 1.0 mm, but definitely not more than that. The wound should extend 0.8 mm into the skin but not deeper, 1.0 mm is only to compensate for longer hair.
    • Needling frequency: Once every two weeks produces the best results, followed by once a week, followed by once every 4 weeks
    • Needling head: 12 needles in an array of 2 x 6 at a width of 0.9 cm for the needle rows. Their specific design is described in Figure 105 of this patent of theirs
    • Topical, 1st version: minoxidil 5% is the likely first version of the topical (maybe also finasteride or saw palmetto included, but about this I'm not sure)
    • Topical, 2nd version: The second version of the topical is minoxidil plus one or a combination of the following three: finasteride, valproic acid, latanoprost
    • Topical application frequency: Twice daily, preferrably once every 12 hours
    • Areas to needle: Not only affected areas should be needled, but also at least 2 cm into non-bald/non-balding areas. Reason for that is probably quorum sensing.
    • Needling device movement over the scalp: Each area should be covered at least once and at most twice, depending on the protocol variant. Depends on frequency and a few other things - won't go into detail here now, the details can be found in the patent. Short version: In the preferred protocol, each treatment area is covered once in horizontal and once in vertical movement direction over the scalp, making for a total of exactly two passes. Passes should be performed without any overlaps and without any gaps. They use the term "like a lawn mower" several times to describe how the scalp should be covered.
    • Needling movement speed: 2 cm per second. They state that the translational movement speed is important to achieve the target needle hole density of 1600 per cm².
    • Needling head oscillation frequency: 120 Hz
    • Needling pressure: Only slight pressure such that the needles go all the way (0.8 mm) in, but not more. "Gliding" should be achieved.
    Now the thing is that the needle heads for the dermapen devices we have are not arranged in 2 rows of 6 needles each. I'm also not sure of the oscillation frequency of the pens we have. We should do some calculations how we can best get to the primary target of 1600 wounds per cm² once every two weeks.

    For those who want to read the patent, a hint on how to read patents: "In one embodiment" refers to specific and most effective product designs they plan on releasing, "in some embodiments" refers to other, less effective versions which they want to protect as well but do not necessarily plan on implementing.

    As you can see, the protocol is not trivial to replicate (because of parameters, needle heads, but also for covering each area only twice without any gaps or overlaps, especially areas we can't see like the vertex), but this seems what they aim for. Let's see if we can somehow achieve the same.
     
    #1 benjt2, Jan 25, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2020
  2. Tom4362

    Tom4362 Established Member My Regimen

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    Ok so its about official that they will not be doing daily needling?
     
  3. otann

    otann New Member My Regimen

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    Thank you for the summary, @benjt2.
    For reference, the needles of the 12-count cartridge sold for use with the Derminator 2 are organized in a ~0.5-cm diameter circle, and more importantly, the console's "fast" needling frequency is a relatively paltry 25 Hz. Thus, even if one were to use the 12-needle cartridge and attempt to replicate the described needling pattern, speed, and depth (0.75 or 1.00 mm) to the best of their ability, wounding density would be significantly lower than ideal.

    One pass over a 1-cm² section of scalp at a constant rate of 2 cm/s with 12 needles oscillating at 120 Hz should yield a density of 720 wounds/cm². They prefer two passes (one horizontal and one vertical), bringing density up to 1440 wounds/cm², which is a bit short of their proposed ideal of 1600 wounds/cm². I haven't read the details yet, so I'm sure that this disparity is the result of factors that I haven't accounted for.

    Since the Derminator 2 has a maximum needling frequency of 25 Hz, you'd have to complete ~10 passes at a rate of 2 cm/s to achieve the same density.

     
    #3 otann, Jan 26, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2020
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  4. coolio

    coolio Established Member My Regimen

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    So, to summarize. . .


    - Low depth, 0.8mm to 1.0mm.

    - 1600 holes per sq/cm in total (per session). That's a pretty monstrous amount of holes in a small area. The needles must be very small diameter or your skin will be one big mess by the time the density is achieved.

    - Holes go straight in & out. Damage from rolling methods is not helpful.

    - Needling once every two weeks is the most effective spacing.

    - the area of needling must extend 2 cms beyond the area where new hair is wanted.

    - minoxidil still appears to be the primary drug.
     
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  5. Derelict

    Derelict Senior Member My Regimen

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    To be honest im a bit disappointed in follica if it's still minoxidil, i was hoping for a new topical along with the needling. I wonder if this same approach to needling would have positive effects if you are on oral minoxidil.
     
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  6. Gonewiththehair

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    Do they apply minoxidil on needling day?
     
  7. newdutuser10

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  8. newdutuser10

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    Do not buy anything from China right now if you are thinking of it.
     
  9. benjt2

    benjt2 Established Member My Regimen

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    Yes. Once a week, once every two weeks, or once every 4 weeks.

    No they don't, but this might be due to safety concerns and not because of effectiveness. They mention safety and minoxidil concentrations a couple of times in the patent. In fact, one version of their protocol says that on the first two days after needling, 2% minoxidil should be used instead of 5%.

    Seems to be the case, yes. The patent mentions a couple of times the process of "re-epithelialization", which is the reconstruction of the whole epidermis if I understood correctly. This would obviously require significant punch hole density. See the following part of their patent:

    The TBPHP pen goes much faster. Slowest setting is 8,000 oscillations per minute, which translates to 133 Hz. Pretty close.

    They specify in the patent that a range between 1400 and 1800 wounds per cm² is ok, with 1600 being optimal. If we remember their leaked trial slides, towards the end they say that there is a lower bound and upper bound for neogenesis; guess they found the range to be 1400 to 1800. 1600 is right in the middle.

    What bothers me a bit is the question of depth. In their most recent patent on needling protocol, they state the following:
    However, the needling device patent which they refer to states the following:
    This is confusing. In their device patent - which is older - they prefer 0.15 mm, now in their more recent patent they state they prefer 0.8 mm. Don't know which one is right or why they contradict each other.


    By the way, I calculated their needle spacing to be between 0.14 and 0.16 mm apart in the same array line, and 0.2 to 0.22 mm apart diagonally across the two array lines (which are shifted a bit). If we imagine the two lines being dragged across the scalp horizontally and vertically and that all needles are placed equidistant from one another, this leads to a maximum distance between "hole lines" of 0.07 mm. No hole will be further away from another hole than 0.07 mm.
     
    #9 benjt2, Jan 26, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2020
  10. coolio

    coolio Established Member My Regimen

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    I wouldn't be surprised if they stopped at 1600 just because their hole-making process was hitting diminishing returns.

    When the hole density gets high enough then eventually you will struggle to make any more holes. The needles will be landing in previously-made holes more often than on smooth skin.
     
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  11. benjt2

    benjt2 Established Member My Regimen

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    This seems to be their intention.
    I'll quote from the patent:

    To prevent any dragging or tearing, their device's needles seem to be able to retract fully out of the skin, no matter how deep they go in. I'm not sure the TBPHP pen can do that at bigger depths, though maybe at 0.8 mm it might be possible.

    Anyway, I will try to replicate their protocol as closely as I can. Probably it won't work, but at least I can give it a try.
     
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  12. inmyhead

    inmyhead Experienced Member

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    1600 wounds per cm2? This looks impossible using derminator unless you keep it on one sport for a long time, but it woundn't be same effect..
     
  13. norwood 11

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    So follica spent a few years to decide which marketing approach would be best, using already existing and inadequate treatment options, combining them into a “patent”.

    - Micro-needling, a pathetic temporary self harm approach that does absolutely nothing and there are papers suggesting it does harm long term
    - latanoprost, an even more pathetic eyelash treatment that is said to do more harm than good and does nothing to halt Androgenetic Alopecia or regrow hair
    - minoxidil, a treatment that destroys your face and buys you a few half dead strands of hair
    - topical finasteride, the big meme that wouldn’t even live long enough to be exploited by transplant clinics because IT IS THAT STUPID
    - valproic acid, kill me

    Wait it isn’t over yet. Let’s do a Reddit survey, find which microneedling approach seems to be best and just do that.

    There goes your 2020-2030 super anticipated hair loss cure.


    I’m back with a vengeance.
     
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  14. hairloss_user

    hairloss_user Experienced Member My Regimen

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    Might have missed it, but if I get this right:

    Needle once every 2 weeks for a while (how long?), then do it once every month?

    What about daily needling? Do you still need to do that? At what depth if so?
     
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  15. norwood 11

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    you just do it once per two weeks. This is a joke, they are just a new Brotzu lotion. Save your money and visit Reddit there is a lot of information on needling. There are papers suggesting though that needling leads to more hair loss long term.
     
  16. hairloss_user

    hairloss_user Experienced Member My Regimen

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    I've been needling for over a year. First I did 1,5 mm every week for like 3-4 months, then every 2 weeks for another 3-4 months, then once every 3 weeks until now. All of my old progress pics are on my old phone that broke down, but I am sure I've maintained, possibly some slight thinning in the crown, but I'm not sure if it's because I changed the frequency or something. Either way, needling makes my hair feel alive if that makes sense. It doesn't lay flat and lifeless like it used to, so it's doing something good. Recently I've added daily needling at 0,5 mm too.

    I am going to continue, but I am still interested in changing to Follica's way. Maybe add that valproic acid and latanoprost, but how do you even get those ??
     
    #16 hairloss_user, Jan 26, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2020
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  17. norwood 11

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    Latanoprost is a glorified worthless and super expensive substance that grows eyelashes and yes u need to get it for life like minoxidil. Guess how expensive follica’s lotion will be haha. Such shameless marketing schemes... 2020 and you get minoxidil with eyelash grower.
     
  18. HairOnFire

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    Over the long haul, that's a lot of trips to the clinic.

    Thanks for the comprehensive review of the patent.
     
  19. pegasus2

    pegasus2 Senior Member

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    1600/cm² is probably more than anyone has done. I doubt that any of the Chinese pens actually operate at close to the rated specs, so if you're using those it's going to be hard to target within a specific range of 1400-1800/cm². The needles on the Derminator 2 needles are the finest at 34.5 gauge. The closest is the A7 at 34 gauge. I recommend sticking with one of those two. With the Derminator you will just have to move it slower, 2 passes at .75cm per second, to get the right density. It's not going to be easy to move that slow, and it's going to take more than 15 minutes to complete both passes if you're balding in a NW7 pattern.

    This is a 100hz pen vs the 25hz Derminator 2:
    img06.jpg

    I still believe that the best method may be dense/deep wounding every 2 weeks in conjunction with light .25mm wounding every day or two for increased absorption of topicals and release of growth factors.

    Everyone please keep in mind that they have run trials since submitting these patents. Latanaprost can be bought under the brand name Xalatan for eyelash growth, but it's very expensive to buy enough to cover your entire scalp. It's basically the same thing as bimatoprost which is cheaper, but also very expensive.
     
    #19 pegasus2, Jan 26, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2020
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  20. ZP31

    ZP31 Established Member My Regimen

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    I agree with everything except the point about topical finasteride. Although not as effective as the oral version, I would make the argument that it can be useful and certainly better than nothing.
     

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