Targeted ToF-SIMS Analysis of Macrophage Content from a Human Cranial Triphasic Calcium Phosphate Implant
Journal article, 2021

Macrophages play a key role in determining the fate of implanted biomaterials, especially for biomaterials such as calcium phosphates (CaPs) where these cells play a vital role in material resorption and osteogenesis, as shown in different models, including clinical samples. Although substantial consideration is given to the design and validation of different CaPs, relatively little is known about their material-cell interaction. Specifically, the intracellular content of different CaP phases remains to be assessed, even though CaP-filled macrophages have been observed in several studies. In this study, 2D/3D ToF-SIMS imaging and multivariate analysis were directly applied on the histology samples of an explant to reveal the content of macrophages. The cellular content of the macrophages was analyzed to distinguish three CaP phases, monetite, beta-tricalcium phosphate, and pyrophosphate, which are all part of the monetite-based CaP implant composition under study. ToF-SIMS combined with histology revealed that the content of the identified macrophages was most similar to that of the pyrophosphate phase. This study is the first to uncover distinct CaP phases in macrophages from a human multiphasic CaP explant by targeted direct cell content analysis. The uncovering of pyrophosphate as the main phase found inside the macrophages is of great importance to understand the impact of the selected material in the process of biomaterial-instructed osteogenesis.


calcium phosphate



cranial implant


Per Malmberg

Chalmers, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Chemistry and Biochemistry

Viviana R. Lopes

Uppsala University

Gry Hulsart Billström

Uppsala University

Sara Gallinetti

Uppsala University

Christopher Illies

Karolinska University Hospital

Lars Kihlström Burenstam Linder

Karolinska University Hospital

Ulrik Birgersson

Karolinska Institutet

Karolinska University Hospital

ACS Applied Bio Materials

25766422 (eISSN)

Vol. 4 9 6791-6798

Subject Categories


Other Basic Medicine

Biomaterials Science


Chemical Imaging Infrastructure



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