Public Health Resources


Date of this Version



Adv. Sci. 2021, 8, 2004433

DOI: 10.1002/advs.202004433


This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License,


Cytokines are critical mediators that oversee and regulate immune and inflammatory responses via complex networks and serve as biomarkers for many diseases. Quantification of cytokines has significant value in both clinical medicine and biology as the levels provide insights into physiological and pathological processes and can be used to aid diagnosis and treatment. Cytokines and their clinical significance are introduced from the perspective of their pro- and anti-inflammatory effects. Factors affecting cytokines quantification in biological fluids, native levels in different body fluids, sample processing and storage conditions, sensitivity to freeze-thaw, and soluble cytokine receptors are discussed. In addition, recent advances in in vitro and in vivo assays, biosensors based on different signal outputs and intracellular to extracellular protein expression are summarized. Various quantification platforms for high-sensitivity and reliable measurement of cytokines in different scenarios are discussed, and commercially available cytokine assays are compared. A discussion of challenges in the development and advancement of technologies for cytokine quantification that aim to achieve real-time multiplex cytokine analysis for point-of-care situations applicable for both biomedical research and clinical practice are discussed.