Minimally and noninvasive investigation of pathology and treatment monitoring is highly attractive in medicine. The use of human hair samples as a non-invasive testing substrate is potentially poised to improve diagnostic and forensic medicine. Hair has the unique ability to capture long-term information about health and disease in an individual as compared to urine and blood. Testing long hair offers a potential means of long-term monitoring of drug compliance, drug abuse, chronic alcohol abuse, and diagnostic biomarker discovery. Even though human hair is mostly composed of keratin and keratin-associated proteins, very little literature has been published on human hair proteomics. Emerging high throughput omics based techniques such as proteomics are increasingly improving our depth of knowledge about the diagnosis, prognosis and prediction of diseases globally. Although many aspects of the use of these novel molecular aids to improve disease diagnosis and patient management remains elusive; it is evident that these techniques have improved precision medicine tremendously. This chapter aims to discuss current plausible application of human hair omics-based approaches to the field of pathology, diagnostics and precision/individualized medicine.
Part of the book: Keratin