Discriminant Principal Component Analysis of ToF-SIMS Spectra for Deciphering Compositional Differences of MSC-Secreted Extracellular Matrices

Research output: Contribution to journalResearch articleContributedpeer-review



Identifying characteristic extracellular matrix (ECM) variants is a key challenge in mechanistic biology, bioengineering, and medical diagnostics. The reported study demonstrates the potential of time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (ToF-SIMS) to detect subtle differences between human mesenchymal stromal cell (MSC)-secreted ECM types as induced by exogenous stimulation or emerging pathology. ToF-SIMS spectra of decellularized ECM samples are evaluated by discriminant principal component analysis (DPCA), an advanced multivariate analysis technique, to decipher characteristic compositional features. To establish the approach, signatures of major ECM proteins are determined from samples of pre-defined mixtures. Based on that, sets of ECM variants produced by MSCs in vitro are analyzed. Differences in the content of collagen, fibronectin, and laminin in the ECM resulting from the combined supplementation of MSC cultures with polymers that induce macromolecular crowding and with ascorbic acid are detected from the DPCA of ToF-SIMS spectra. The results are verified by immunostaining. Finally, the comparative ToF-SIMS analysis of ECM produced by MSCs of healthy donors and patients suffering from myelodysplastic syndrome display the potential of the novel methodology to reveal disease-associated alterations of the ECM composition.


Original languageEnglish
Article number2201157
JournalSmall methods
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2023

External IDs

Scopus 85151955164


Sustainable Development Goals


  • Humans, Spectrometry, Mass, Secondary Ion/methods, Principal Component Analysis, Multivariate Analysis, Extracellular Matrix, Mesenchymal Stem Cells