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Quantification of cortisol for the medical diagnosis of multiple pregnancy-related diseases


Cortisol is a stress hormone released from the adrenal glands and is responsible for both hyperglycemia and hypertension during pregnancy. These factors make it mandatory to detect the levels of cortisol during pregnancy to identify and treat hypoglycemia and hypertension. In this study, cortisol levels were quantified with an aptamer-conjugated gold nanorod using an electrochemical interdigitated electrode sensor. The surface uniformity was analyzed by high-power microscopy and 3D-nanoprofiler imaging. The detection limit was determined to be 0.01 ng/mL, and a linear regression indicated that the sensitivity range was in the range of 0.01–0.1 ng/mL, based on a 3σ calculation. Moreover, the specificity of the aptamer was determined by a binding analysis against norepinephrine and progesterone, and it was clearly found that the aptamer specifically recognizes only cortisol. Further, the presence of cortisol was detected in the serum in a dose-dependent manner. This method is useful to detect and correlate multiple pregnancy-related diseases by quantifying the levels of cortisol.

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Fig. 1

modified by APTES to immobilize the GNR–aptamer, and cortisol was detected on the aptamer-GNR-modified IDE surface. b Gap regions on the surface of the IDE sensor are displayed. When the electrode (finger) and gap regions are connected, a dipole moment is generated upon application of a current

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The authors all contributed to the preparation of the manuscript and discussion. Both authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Correspondence to Subash C. B. Gopinath.

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Zhang, J., Gopinath, S.C.B. Quantification of cortisol for the medical diagnosis of multiple pregnancy-related diseases. 3 Biotech 10, 35 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13205-019-2030-z

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  • Hyperglycemia
  • Gestational hypertension
  • Aptamer
  • Gold nanorod
  • Interdigitated electrode
  • Human serum