A Single Drop of Blood Can Reveal Stress Hormones in The Body With Quick New Test

Scientists are always looking for ways to diagnose what's happening in the body as quickly as possible. This allows problems to be detected earlier and can be managed more effectively.A new microchip that measures stress hormone levels from one drop of blood has been developed by researchers. It was developed using the same process that is used to create computer chips. It's cheaper and simpler than the complicated lab tests it could replace.This research focuses on cortisol. It is linked to many aspects of mental and physical health. For example, high levels of cortisol could lead to insomnia and panic attacks."Using nanosensors allowed us detect cortisol molecules without the need to use any other molecules or particles as labels," Reza Mahmoodi (an electrical and computer engineer at Rutgers University) says.Although fluorescent tags are commonly used to identify molecules, these nanosensors are thinner than a human hair and can function without them. They instead use an impedance process, which is the resistance to an electric current. This happens between two vertically stacked electrodes.The microchip went through several tests before being used to analyze the blood samples of 65 patients with rheumatoid. The cortisol detection rates were nearly as reliable as the current gold standard (ELISA).These microchips can be used to quickly and inexpensively monitor cortisol levels. They can also be used for multiple readings throughout the day. You can perform tests at home, without the need to visit a hospital or clinic."Our new sensor produces an exact and reliable response that permits a continuous readout cortisol levels to allow real-time analysis," Mehdi Javanmard (electrical and computer engineer at Rutgers University) says.It has the potential to be used for non-invasive cortisol measurements in other fluids, such as saliva or urine.This allows for early detection of problems that might otherwise go unnoticed. This device could be used to monitor whether a drug is bringing down hormone levels.Cortisol can be a useful indicator of body stress, but it's possible to expand these types of sensors and test to find other biomarkers. In recent years, several techniques similar to Cortisol have been developed, including one that is used for mood disorders.Although it is still early days for this technique and microchip, it will need to be tested with many more blood samples before it can be rolled out. However, it points to a future in which the key functions of the body can be easily and inexpensively monitored.Javanmard says that molecular labels do not need to be used. This means that you can store the instruments in a small, pocket-sized container or even a wristband.Science Advances published the research.