Microchip to Rapidly Monitor Stress Hormones from a Drop of Blood

By: | July 4th, 2021

Image courtesy Wikimedia

In absence of a quick diagnosis, your doctor could be as stumped by your symptoms as you are!

To detect the problems well in advance and manage them more effectively, doctors need quick ways to diagnose what’s going on in the body.

In a major development in this area, a team of researchers from Rutgers University has developed a microchip. This microchip can assess stress hormone levels in the body from a single drop of blood. It can monitor the natural variation of cortisol that plays a key role in the body’s stress response.

Cortisol, the primary stress hormone plays an important role in several things your body does. For example, it manages how your body uses carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, keeps inflammation down, regulates our blood pressure and glucose metabolism. It also controls our sleep/wake cycle and boosts energy to handle stress.

Measuring cortisol requires laboratory setup but the Microchip testing will be real quick and far cheaper than the complex lab tests

To develop the microchip, scientists used the same process that is used in making the computer chips. They validated the performance of the miniaturized device. The cortisol detection rates were almost as reliable as the current gold standard, an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) test. This technology will help patients to monitor their hormone levels and better manage them. 

Nidhi Goyal

Nidhi is a gold medalist Post Graduate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

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