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

Scientific Reports
L E WadkinA Shukurov


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 c...Continue Reading


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