Advancements in non-invasive skin sampling: Clinical conditions characterization via the assessment of skin surface cytokine biomarkers

Meital Portugal-Cohen, Miriam Oron, Dror Cohen, Ze'evi Ma'or, Yoram Soroka, Marina Frusic-Zlotkin, Ron Kohen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The skin is increasingly recognized as a biological active organ interacting with the immune system. Given that the epidermal skin layer actively releases various cytokines, non-invasive skin sampling methods could detect these cytokines, offering insights into clinical conditions. This study aims non-invasively measuring cytokine levels directly from the skin surface to characterize different inflammatory chronic disorders in the adult and elderly population: psoriasis, diabetes type 2, rosacea, chronic kidney disease (CKD) and aging. Cytokines IL-1β, IL-8 and IL-10 were sampled from healthy subjects and patients aged 18-80 using skin surface wash technique. A well with sterile phosphate-buffered saline solution was placed on the skin for 30 min, and the extracted solution was collected from the well for further cytokine levels analysis using ELISA assay. Results show distinct cytokine profiles in different pathological processes, healthy controls, affected and unaffected areas. Aging was associated with increased IL-1β, IL-8, and IL-10 levels in skin. In diabetes, IL-1β and IL-8 levels were elevated in lesional areas, while IL-10 levels were decreased in non-lesional skin. Psoriatic lesions showed elevated levels of IL-1β and IL-8. Rosacea patients had lower IL-10 levels in both lesional and non-lesional areas. CKD patients exhibited significantly lower IL-10 levels compared to healthy individuals. In conclusion, skin surface wash-derived cytokine profiles could serve as "alert biomarkers" for disease prediction, enabling early detection. Additionally, this method's cost-effectiveness allows pre-screening of molecules in clinical studies and holds potential as a tool for biomarkers and omics analysis, enhancing disorder characterization and disease management.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)e15037
JournalExperimental Dermatology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


  • biomarkers
  • clinical conditions
  • cytokines
  • non-invasive
  • skin surface


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