Erwin P. Lobo1, Naomi C. Delic2,3, Alex Richardson4, Vanisri Raviraj2,3, Gary M. Halliday2, Nick Di Girolamo4, Mary R. Myerscough1 & J Guy Lyons2,3,5


1 School of Mathematics and Statistics, Camperdown, New South Wales 2006, Australia. 2Discipline of Dermatology, Bosch Institute, Charles Perkins Centre, University of Sydney, Camperdown, New South Wales 2006, Australia. 3 Immune Imaging Program, Centenary Institute for Cancer Medicine and Cell Biology, Camperdown, New South Wales 2042, Australia. 4Department of Pathology, School of Medical Sciences, University of New South Wales, Randwick, New South Wales 2052, Australia. 5 Sydney Head and Neck Cancer Institute, Cancer Services, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Camperdown, New South Wales 2050, Australia. Correspondence and requests for materials should be addressed to N.D.G. (email: [email protected]) or to M.R.M. (email: [email protected]) or to J.G.L. (email: [email protected]).




Maintaining the structure of the cornea is essential for high-quality vision. In adult mammals, corneal epithelial cells emanate from stem cells in the limbus, driven by an unknown mechanism towards the centre of the cornea as cohesive clonal groups. Here we use complementary mathematical and biological models to show that corneal epithelial cells can self-organize into a cohesive, centripetal growth pattern in the absence of external physiological cues. Three conditions are required: a circumferential location of stem cells, a limited number of cell divisions and mobility in response to population pressure. We have used these complementary models to provide explanations for the increased rate of centripetal migration caused by wounding and the potential for stem cell leakage to account for stable transplants derived from central corneal tissue, despite the predominantly limbal location of stem cells.


The mice were then anaesthetized with ketamine/ medetomidine and both corneas of each mouse were imaged using a Nikon AZ100 wide-field fluorescent microscope with CoolLED4000 light source, to obtain a baseline measurement.

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pE-4000: The universal LED illumination system for research fluorescence, with the broadest spectrum of illumination available from 16 selectable wavelengths, and extensive functionality that sets a new standard for industry.

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Nature Communications

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