Human Cytokines Characterized by Dielectric Thermal Analysis, Thermogravimetry, and Differential Scanning Calorimetry

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Journal of Thermal Analysis and Calorimetry


Malaria affects over 500 million people worldwide leading to 1-2 million deaths each year, the majority of whom are children. Four Plasmodium species cause malaria in humans. To properly diagnose, and correctly treat malarial infections, accurate diagnosis of infection is required. Proper diagnosis of infection will result in a reduction of morbidity, mortality, and of drug resistant parasites. However, the current tests for malaria diagnosis do not efficiently identify the appropriate human and parasite biomarkers associated with disease. Detection of specific inflammatory mediators such as cytokines associated with malaria pathogenesis will aid the determination of disease progression, disease prognosis, and the early diagnosis of malaria infection. In this study, we used dielectric thermal analysis (DETA), thermogravimetric analysis, and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) to characterize five human cytokines (IL-1α, IL-2, IL-4, IL-6, and IL-10), to demonstrate how their thermoanalytical properties can be investigated for sensor design. Analysis for DETA was performed at a frequency range of 0.1-300,000 Hz. Permittivity and loss factor measurements were used to calculate tan δ values. Peak frequencies were used to determine dielectric signatures for each cytokine. The peak frequencies were different for each cytokine analyzed. In addition, activation energies were frequency dependent for IL-2 but frequency independent for the remaining four cytokines. Cytokines were also examined using DSC which established variance in heat of crystallization and heat of fusion of solvent among the five cytokines. A noticeable differentiation was observed with IL-1α among the other four cytokines when analyzed using trend analysis. Detection of unique dielectric signals will aid development of sensitive dielectric sensors capable of detecting cytokines in various human samples. © 2012 Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary.