Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology

, Volume 174, Issue 3, pp 1115–1126 | Cite as

Electrochemical Sensing of Cortisol: A Recent Update

  • Aparajita Singh
  • Ajeet KaushikEmail author
  • Rajesh Kumar
  • Madhavan Nair
  • Shekhar Bhansali


Psychological stress caused by everyday lifestyle contributes to health disparities experienced by individuals. It affects many biomarkers, but cortisol — “a steroid hormone” — is known as a potential biomarker for psychological stress detection. Abnormal levels of cortisol are indicative of conditions such as Cushing’s syndrome Addison’s disease, adrenal insufficiencies and more recently post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Chromatographic techniques, which are traditionally used to detect cortisol, are a complex system requiring multistep extraction/purification. This limits its application for point-of-care (POC) detection of cortisol. However, electrochemical immunosensing of cortisol is a recent advancement towards POC application. This review highlights simple, low-cost, and label-free electrochemical immunosensing platforms which have been developed recently for sensitive and selective detection of cortisol in bio-fluids. Electrochemical detection is utilized for the detection of cortisol using Anti-Cortisol antibodies (Anti-Cab) covalently immobilized on nanostructures, such as self-assembled monolayer (SAM) and polymer composite, for POC integration of sensors. The observed information can be used as a prototype to understand behavioral changes in humans such as farmers and firefighters. Keeping the future directions and challenges in mind, the focus of the BioMEMS and Microsystems Research Group at Florida International University is on development of POC devices for immunosensing, integration of these devices with microfluidics, cross validation with existing technologies, and analysis of real sample.


Psychological stress Cortisol Electrochemical immunosensing Point-of-care application 



This work was supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) ASSIST Nanosystems ERC (EEC-1160483) and National Institute of Health (NIH) 1RO1-DA027049. The author Rajesh Kumar acknowledges the University Grant Commission (UGC), India for the award of Raman Fellowship (ID 1001, 2013-14).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Aparajita Singh
    • 1
  • Ajeet Kaushik
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Rajesh Kumar
    • 1
    • 3
  • Madhavan Nair
    • 2
  • Shekhar Bhansali
    • 1
  1. 1.BioMEMS and Microsystems Laboratory, Department of Electrical and Computer EngineeringFlorida International UniversityMiamiUSA
  2. 2.Department of Immunology, College of medicineFlorida International UniversityMiamiUSA
  3. 3.Department of PhysicsPanjab UniversityChandigarhIndia

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