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Anal Chem. 2012 May 15;84(10):4307-13. doi: 10.1021/ac203329j. Epub 2012 Apr 27.

Identifying differentiation stage of individual primary hematopoietic cells from mouse bone marrow by multivariate analysis of TOF-secondary ion mass spectrometry data.

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Department of Chemistry, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Illinois 61801, United States.


The ability to self-renew and differentiate into multiple types of blood and immune cells renders hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs) valuable for clinical treatment of hematopoietic pathologies and as models of stem cell differentiation for tissue engineering applications. To study directed hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) differentiation and identify the conditions that recreate the native bone marrow environment, combinatorial biomaterials that exhibit lateral variations in chemical and mechanical properties are employed. New experimental approaches are needed to facilitate correlating cell differentiation stage with location in the culture system. We demonstrate that multivariate analysis of time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (TOF-SIMS) data can be used to identify the differentiation state of individual hematopoietic cells (HCs) isolated from mouse bone marrow. Here, we identify primary HCs from three distinct stages of B cell lymphopoiesis at the single cell level: HSPCs, common lymphoid progenitors, and mature B cells. The differentiation state of individual HCs in a test set could be identified with a partial least-squares discriminant analysis (PLS-DA) model that was constructed with calibration spectra from HCs of known differentiation status. The lowest error of identification was obtained when the intrapopulation spectral variation between the cells in the calibration and test sets was minimized. This approach complements the traditional methods that are used to identify HC differentiation stage. Further, the ability to gather mass spectrometry data from single HSCs cultured on graded biomaterial substrates may provide significant new insight into how HSPCs respond to extrinsic cues as well as the molecular changes that occur during cell differentiation.

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