School of Mathematics, Statistics and Physics

Stem Cells

Human stem cells are at the forefront of modern molecular biology research due to their ability to give rise to any specialist human cell type, a property known as pluripotency.  However, stem cells are notoriously hard to grow in culture.  Here we are developing mathematical models of the stem cell behaviour, from single or a few cells up to colonies of thousands.  This work is in collaboration with stem cell experiments at the Institute for Genetic Medicine.

In our latest work "Dynamics of single human embryonic stem cells and their pairs: a quantitative analysis" (, Scientific Reports to appear) we performed real-time microscope imaging of human embryonic stem cells and analysed the kinematics of single and pairs of cells.  

We find that the cells, and their pairs, typically move like an isotropic random walk with a characteristic speed.  Here, we present a movie of the typical stem cell motion.