The Human Immune Monitoring Center (HIMC)


We have standardized immunoassays for human and mouse cytokines, which can be used to assay serum, plasma, cell culture supernatants, tissue homogenates, or other fluids. We measure multiple cytokines simultaneously using Luminex bead arrays.  Download background information on the protein analytes in our standard kits here.

Standard Assays (per-sample pricing, no minimum sample number): For human cytokines, we offer a 76-plex Luminex assay custom-built by eBioscience. We have compared this assay to our previous 51-plex, for which we have extensive performance data.  For mouse cytokines, we offer a 48-plex Luminex array.  Analytes in these arrays are shown here:

HIMC 76 Plex Mouse 48 Plex  
EGF 6Ckine/CCL21 BAFF IL-2Ra  
eotaxin BCA-1   BTC IL-3  
FGF-2 CTACK  ENA-78 IL-31  
Flt-3 ligand  ENA-78  Eotaxin IL-33  
Fractalkine  Eotaxin-2  G-CSF IL-33R  
G-CSF Eotaxin-3  GM-CSF IL-4  
GM-CSF I-309  GRO-a IL-5  
GRO-alpha IL-16  IFN-a IL-6  
IFN-α2  IL-20  IFN-g IL-7  
IFN-gamma IL-21  IL-10 IL-7Ra  
IL-1α  IL-23  IL-12p70 IL-9  
IL-1β  IL-28A  IL-13 IP-10  
IL-1RA  IL-33  IL-15 Leptin  
IL-2  LIF  IL-17A LIF  
IL-3  MCP-2  IL-18 MCP-1  
IL-4 MCP-4   IL-19 MCP-3  
IL-5 MIP-1d  IL-1a M-CSF  
IL-6 SCF  IL1-b MIP-1a  
IL-7 SDF-1  IL-2 MIP-1b  
IL-8 TARC  IL-22 MIP-2  
IL-12 (p40)  TSLP  IL-27 TNF-a  
IL-12 (p70)  MIG  IL-28 VEGF-A  
IL-17A  sFAS / TNFRSF6 sFasL      
IP-10  MIF      
MCP-1  PAI-1 (total) sICAM-1 sVCAM-1      
MCP-3  Leptin HGF      
MDC (CCL22)  Resistin      

Special order assays (charged as actual materials and labor):  We do not maintain our own inventory of these kits, but can usually obtain them within 1-2 weeks.  For these kits, you should plan to run at least 40 samples for cost efficiency, since approximately 40 duplicate samples can be run per plate, with standards and controls.  Please contact Yael Rosenberg Hasson ( or 650-724-2114) for availability and order options.

Human 41 plex cytokines:

EGF, Eotaxin, FGF-2, Flt-3 ligand, Fractalkine, G-CSF, GM-CSF, GRO, IFN-α2, IFN-γ, IL-10, IL-12 (p40), IL-12 (p70), IL-13, IL-15, IL-17, IL-1ra, IL-1α, IL-1β, IL-2, IL-3, IL-4, IL-5, IL-6, IL-7, IL-8, IL-9, IP-10, MCP-1, MCP-3, MDC (CCL22), MIP-1α, MIP-1β, PDGF-AA, PDGF-AB/BB, RANTES, TGFα, TNF-α, TNF-β, VEGF, sCD40L

Human adiponectin:

Option to order 1-6 biomarkers:  Adiponectin, Adipsin, Lipocalin-2/NGAL, PAI-1 (Total), Resistin

Human Soluble Receptor 14 Plex:

sCD30, sEGFR, sIL-1RI, sIL-1RII, sIL-2Rα, sIL-4R, sIL-6R, sRAGE, sTNFRI, sTNFRII, sVEGF-R1, sVEGF-R2, sVEGF-R3, sgp130

Rat 27 plex cytokines:

EGF, Eotaxin, Fractalkine, G-CSF, GM-CSF, GRO/KC, IFN-γ, IL-10, IL-12 (p70), IL-13, IL-17A, IL-18, IL-1α, IL-1β, IL-2, IL-4, IL-5, IL-6, IP-10, LIX, Leptin, MCP-1, MIP-1α, MIP-2, RANTES, TNF-α, VEGF

Human cardiovascular disease Panel III:

Option to run 1-11 of the biomarkers: AGP, Adipsin, CRP, Fetuin A, Fibrinogen, Haptoglobin, L-Selectin, Platelet Factor-4, Serum Amyloid P, von Willebrand Factor (vWF), α2-Macroglobulin

Human immunoglobulin Isotyping Panel:

IgA, IgG1, IgG2, IgG3, IgG4, IgM

Human TIMP’s in Cell culture:


Human TIMP’s in Serum/Plasma:

Human MMP’s:

MMP-1, MMP-10, MMP-2, MMP-7, MMP-9

User Instructions

1.  Planning your assay:  To minimize run-to-run variability, we suggest assaying all samples to be compared in a single experiment, if possible.  Since there can also be plate-to-plate variation, it is helpful to fit the experiment into a single plate (40 duplicate samples), or to randomize groups across multiple plates (i.e., don't put all controls on one plate and all test samples on another).  We will run samples in the order provided, unless instructed otherwise.  Please consult us in the planning phase if you have questions.

2.  Collecting your samples:  We need a minimum of 120 microliters per sample to run duplicate wells without dilution.  Be sure samples undergo a hard spin (10,000 G) before freezing, to remove cells and debris that can clog the Luminex instrument; see our SERUM PROCESSING or PLASMA PROCESSING protocols for details on serum or plasma collection and processing.  Process serum and plasma within two hours of blood draw if possible.  Avoid hemolysis, which interferes with cytokine detection.  Serum and plasma processing services are also available through our Blood Processing Unit.  Tissue homogenates should include a buffer with protease inhibitors, and normalization of total protein concentration may be desirable (we can measure total proteins using our Bioanalyzer platform; see our genomics page for details).  You may wish to include a control of cell-free media (for cell supernatants) or lysis buffer (for homogenates), for background.

All samples should be frozen at -80C and transferred to the HIMC on dry ice.  Multiple freeze-thaw cytcles should be avoided.  Please label all tubes clearly on the side and top, and email an excel list of your samples to (or post to Basecamp for existing projects).

3. Running samples:  An online order is required before samples can be run.  We will batch samples sets where possible, to run complete plates.  Turnaround time varies depending on the size of your project and the current workload; smaller projects can usually be completed within two weeks of order placement and sample delivery.

Plasma samples are run with a 1:3 dilution due to known issues with clogging of the instrument; dilution of other sample types is optional; it can improve quantitation of high-level cytokines, with minimal impact on the detection of most low-level cytokines.  Leftovers will be discarded unless you provide other instructions, and will not be saved for more than two weeks.

4.  Data analysis:  Data is transmitted via our Basecamp project management system.  New customers will get an email invitation to join the system  An Excel report will be posted there, containing summaries of median fluorescence intensity (MFI), calculated concentration, bead count, and coefficient of variation (CV) of replicate wells, for each cytokine in each sample, standard, and control.  QC notes are also provided in the report.  The report data is simultaneously uploaded to our online databawse, Stanford Data Miner, where it can be integrated with other HIMC data from your lab, as well as clinical/demographic data if provided.  Click the help link in the upper left corner of the Data Miner homepage for instructions on using this system.

We recommend using MFI rather than concentration values, especially for analytes that are outside of the linear range of the standards.  This is usually the case for serum and plasma samples.  Normalization (to controls or to global sample median for each plate) is recommended when comparing values across plates.


See the Protocols page for complete HIMC protocols as well as short descriptions suitable for publications and grant applications.

Addtional information:

For more information

Yael Rosenberg-Hasson, Immunoassay Manager

Human Immune Monitoring Center
1651 Page Mill Road, Lab 0280, Palo Alto, CA 94034-5518

phone:  650-723-4984