Stem Cell Science and Engineering Microenvironments for Regenerative Medicine BIOL5347

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Molecular Biosciences
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: No

Short Description

This course will introduce students to the fundamental principles of stem cells, associated ethical issues and clinical applications. In addition they will learn standard techniques for engineering 3D microenvironments and scaffolds to enhance stem cell research and function.


10 x 2 hour lectures and 2 x 1 hour tutorials throughout the first semester.  Poster session presentation of a selection topic in week 12.

Requirements of Entry


Excluded Courses





Poster presentation (40%)

Written assignment (60%)

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? No

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non-Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Poster Presentation

Course Aims

The course aims to combine lectures and tutorials to introduce students to the theoretical knowledge of stem cells, methods of culturing stem cells in 3D to improve research outcomes and their current and potential clinical needs/uses. This will enable students to critically analyse, interpret and discuss the relevant literature and data pertaining to stem cell research.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ Define the different types and prerequisite qualities of a stem cell.

■ Describe and evaluate artificial methods to influence stem cell differentiation and self-renewal.

■ Critically analyse the use of stem cells in current and future clinical applications.

■ Critically discuss ethical issues associated with the use of stem cells.

■ Explain and contrast different methods to culture stem cells in a 2D/3D microenvironment.

■ Critically discuss the advantages and disadvantages of respective methods in the context of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.