Acorn Biolabs in Vancouver
Cell Banking Made Easy
Acorn Biolabs is a Canadian-based biotechnology company and the world’s first non-invasive follicle-based cell banking service. Cells are collected through a procedure of plucking hair follicles. These follicle cells are verified for viability and cryogenically frozen. Your own cells can then be utilized by you in the future in the field of regenerative medicine for potential therapeutic and aesthetic applications.
Regenerative Medicine 101
What is Regenerative Medicine?
A few key points about regenerative medicine include:
Stem cells have remarkable potential for differentiating into different cell types and regenerating damaged tissues.
Younger Cells vs. Older Cells
Save Your Cells From Aging
As for our cells, their health declines as well. Our bodies produce less hormones, which results in a decrease in cell regeneration. Additionally, the cells themselves become less efficient at performing their functions. This can lead to a number of age-related diseases, such as cancer, heart disease, and Alzheimer's.
Because of this they lose their regenerative potential. When it comes to regenerative treatments, younger cells can provide younger results.
Did you know that:
- Collagen production decreases by 1% each year after we reach our cellular peak in our 20s?
- The hyaluronic acid our body produces drops by 50% from age 20 to age 50?
- Epidermal thickness decreases by 6.2% every decade?
- Skin turnover time delays to 40-60 days in elderly compared to 28 days in young adults?
- There is a 20-80% decline in stem cell diversity after the age of 65 years old?
- We see a 95% decline in bone marrow stem cells from teenage years to 80 years old?
Learn About Acorn
Preserve your best cells for the future of regenerative treatments.
How It Works
Our trained lab technicians will collect 50 intact hair follicles from the back and sides of a patient’s head. Only complete follicles will count towards the total as the cellular matter required is located not in the hair itself but in the follicle located at the base of the hair.
Refrigerated samples are picked up by an Acorn courier (or cold shipped via secure mail if outside of Toronto) and delivered to Acorn's secure lab at Toronto General Hospital for handoff to the science team.
Samples are assessed for both quantity (of follicles) and quality (of live cell count) to ensure that prior to freezing, there are enough live cells to pass our viability assessment.
Patient’s cells are separated into 4 vials for redundancy and cryogenically frozen at -190°C which stops all further effects of aging and degradation on the sample.
AccessIn the future, patients will be able to request treatments via their preferred clinics and/or practitioner's office. Acorn will work directly with practitioners to ensure appropriate handling and delivery of cell and cell therapies in future treatments.
Why the hair follicle?
- Help rejuvenate skin
- Regrow hair
- Repair tissues
- And even be leveraged in stem cell applications
How To Book Your Appointment
- Scroll down to the bottom of this page and select I want to book an appointment - you will be redirected to our online booking/Client Portal website
- Select YES in the browse section, then Lab Technician 1 - you will be presented with available dates/times to book in the lab
- Choose your date/time - follow the prompts to create an account
Frequently Asked Questions
View all FAQs
What is Acorn?Acorn is a personalized regenerative medicine company with two focuses:
- The first is providing the opportunity for clients to privately bank a collection of their own best cells for future regenerative medicine treatments.
- The second is actively working towards ways for patients to use their own cells by creating products for near term use as well as mapping out cell lines to prepare future treatments + therapies.
How does Acorn work?With Acorn, your cells are collected via plucked hair follicles and cryogenically frozen. This stops the cells from further aging and degradation, giving you a collection of your own best cells to leverage in future treatments.
A trained technician will collect 50 hair follicles from the backs and sides of a patient’s head. Once the sample has been transported to our laboratory and passes viability the patient will receive a report
directly from Acorn to let them know how their sample performed.
Samples that do not pass Acorn’s viability test will require that the patient return for a ‘top up’ at no additional cost to ensure that we have a complete sample for every patient before freeing it down.
What can these cells be used for?Later this year Acorn will begin production on the first autologous exosome product for skin + hair rejuvenation - this product will be cell free and will leverage high volumes of growth factors and matrix molecules that we’re able to collect from the hair follicle. This product will be approved for topical application and is suggested to be paired with a procedure such as microneedling/laser to see the full effects of the serum.
Beyond the near term aesthetic applications these cells have the potential to be leveraged for hair regrowth, healing from athletic injuries faster, disease prevention and even creating organs on demand - as stem cells are the building blocks of the human body the potential for these cells in the future is ever growing.
Who is Acorn right for?Acorn is designed for those who are concerned about the effects of aging as they pertain to skin + hair, athletic performance and pain management, and are looking to extend the amount of time that they are healthy and active.
What is the ideal age for Acorn Cell Banking?Based on the science it’s understood that the ideal age for banking your own stem cells is between 18 and 65 years old, and in this window, the earlier the better.
Acorn will bank patients as young as 12 years old, and does not turn patients away once they’re 65+ however we want to ensure that we’re honest with patients about potential limitations with aged cells.
Are stem cells legal?As of right now, it’s important to note that Health Canada + the FDA have not approved the use of stem cells in commercial therapies - we anticipate that this will change over the next 5-10 years.
While we wait for the regulatory pathways to open, Acorn is providing patients the opportunity to stow away their best cells in preparation for this new era of medicine.
Acorn is working diligently to be the first fully compliant stem cell company on North American soil.
What is the cost to preserve cells with Acorn?The cost for the collection procedure with our trained lab technicians is $900 - this includes transportation. Patients' cells then remain in cryogenic storage at Acorn Biolabs in Toronto General Hospital for a yearly fee of $190 per individual and would be accessible in the future for applicable regenerative treatments.
A Family Plan option is available and is defined by 2 adult-aged individuals and up to 4 youths under the age of 25.
Acorn also offers longer-term subscription options for those looking to guarantee their subscription fee for a set period of time.