Cytokine Measurements (Immunoassays)

Contact: Rick Lawler
Location: Thomas building, DE-352
Contact phone: (206) 667-5235
Contact fax: (206) 667-6845
Contact e-mail:

Cytokine Analysis can measure cytokines and other human biological modulators in human biological samples and cell culture samples. We provide access to equipment for state of the art immunoassays including Luminex and ELISA assays.

Which cytokine assays are  available?

We are set up to measure approximately 40 of the most commonly assayed human cytokines.  All assays are run in duplicate, most using Luminex microbead technology and a few by standard ELISA.  Most of the interleukins, TNF alpha, IFN gamma, and several other common cytokines are available.  The complete list of cytokines assays can be found on our iLab page when you request an assay. If the cytokine you wish analyzed is not on the list, please contact Jianhong Cao at (206) 667-6455.

Please note that this is not a “clinical” or “certified” laboratory.  Data from this lab should be used for research purpose only.


To get your specimens run, please initiate an assay request on iLab where you will enter you billing/budget information. We will generate a price quote for you to approve.  If you have any questions regarding the billing process, please call Jianhong Cao at (206) 667-6455.

Sample preparation and delivery.

Human blood specimen collection, processing, and storage conditions are critical to the accuracy of these assays.  Each investigator must review the relevant scientific literature in their field to arrive at the best way to process blood samples for their particular study.  Both serum and plasma samples are commonly used to measure cytokines in the blood.  EDTA is one of the most commonly used blood anticoagulants and should not interfere with the measurement of most cytokines. 

Whatever the sample type (serum vs. plasma) and anticoagulant chosen, the samples should definitely be processed and frozen as quickly as possible since cytokines can degrade in the blood quickly.  Ideally, blood should be centrifuged and the serum/plasma aliquotted and frozen at -80°C within one hour of being drawn.  Samples should be kept frozen until all collections are completed and then delivered to us on dry ice all at once.  If the study is large then frozen samples may be submitted in batches of approximately 80 at a time.  For cell culture samples, cell-free culture media should be pipetted off the cells into clean polypropylene tubes and frozen at -80°C.  Frozen samples should be transported to the Cytokine Lab on dry ice to avoid thawing en route.  Each investigator is responsible for delivering their samples to the Cytokine Lab here at the Fred Hutch campus and retrieving them when finished. 

Please call Rick Lawler at (206) 667-5235 to arrange delivery details.

Reporting of results

Results from research samples will be available within days to weeks from the time of delivery to our lab, depending on the number of samples received and how busy the lab is at the time.  Results will be e-mailed to you on a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet.