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?

Regenerative medicine is a branch of medical science focused on developing methods to replace or repair damaged tissues and organs using the body’s natural regenerative capabilities or through the transplantation of cells, tissues, or biomaterials.

A few key points about regenerative medicine include:

Uses one’s own cells or their extracts instead of drugs, metals and plastics as the main treatment methods

Focuses on treating the root of the problem of the ailment, not only the symptoms

Can use your own cells to avoid rejection or donor complications

Can repair or rejuvenate your body using stem cells

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 we age, our bodies change in many ways. We may become less flexible, our skin may become thinner and less elastic, we may lose muscle mass and bone density, and our reflexes may slow down. These changes are a normal part of aging, and they can happen even if we live a healthy lifestyle.

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

Cell Banking

The procedure starts with an appointment at the Integrative Clinic in Vancouver. Cells are collected by plucking hair follicles from the back and side of the head. These follicle cells are verified for viability and cryogenically frozen at -190°C. This stops the cells from aging, so patients can have access to their younger cells for a lifetime of future regenerative treatments.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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In 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?

The average person has roughly 100,000 hair follicles on their head, and Acorn only requires 50 for a successful collection. This abundant cell source is also harvested non-invasively and contains cells, like keratinocytes, fibroblasts and hair follicle stem cells (HFSCs) that have the potential to:

  • Help rejuvenate skin
  • Regrow hair
  • Repair tissues
  • And even be leveraged in stem cell applications
Hair Follicle
Image & content courtesy of Acorn Biolabs