Toggle Main Menu Toggle Search

Open Access padlockePrints

Dynamics of single human embryonic stem cells and their pairs: a quantitative analysis

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Laura WadkinORCiD, Dr Irina Neganova, Professor Nick ParkerORCiD, Dr Valeria Chichagova, Georgina Kay-Black, Dr Alex LaudeORCiD, Professor Majlinda LakoORCiD, Professor Anvar ShukurovORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


Numerous biological approaches are available to characterise the mechanisms which govern the formation of human embryonic stem cell (hESC) colonies. To understand how the kinematics of single and pairs of hESCs impact colony formation, we study their mobility characteristics using time-lapse imaging. We perform a detailed statistical analysis of their speed, survival, directionality, distance travelled and diffusivity. We confirm that single and pairs of cells migrate as a diffusive random walk for at least 7 hours of evolution. We show that the presence of Cell Tracer significantly reduces hESC mobility. Our results open the path to employ the theoretical framework of the diffusive random walk for the prognostic modelling and optimisation of the growth of hESC colonies. Indeed, we employ this random walk model to estimate the seeding density required to minimise the occurrence of hESC colonies arising from more than one founder cell and the minimal cell number needed for successful colony formation. Our prognostic model can be extended to investigate the kinematic behaviour of somatic cells emerging from hESC differentiation and to enable its wide application in phenotyping of pluripotent stem cells for large scale stem cell culture expansion and differentiation platforms.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Wadkin LE, Elliot LF, Neganova I, Parker NG, Chichagova V, Swan G, Laude A, Lako M, Shukurov A

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Scientific Reports

Year: 2017

Volume: 7

Online publication date: 03/04/2017

Acceptance date: 01/03/2017

Date deposited: 04/04/2017

ISSN (electronic): 2045-2322

Publisher: Nature Publishing Group


DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-00648-0


Altmetrics provided by Altmetric


Funder referenceFunder name
ERC #614620