Noninvasive Label-Free Detection of Cortisol and Lactate Using Graphene Embedded Screen-Printed Electrode

Satish K. Tuteja, Connor Ormsby, Suresh Neethirajan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

74 Citations (Scopus)


Abstract: A sensitive and specific immunosensor for the detection of the hormones cortisol and lactate in human or animal biological fluids, such as sweat and saliva, was devised using the label-free electrochemical chronoamperometric technique. By using these fluids instead of blood, the biosensor becomes noninvasive and is less stressful to the end user, who may be a small child or a farm animal. Electroreduced graphene oxide (e-RGO) was used as a synergistic platform for signal amplification and template for bioconjugation for the sensing mechanism on a screen-printed electrode. The cortisol and lactate antibodies were bioconjugated to the e-RGO using covalent carbodiimide chemistry. Label-free electrochemical chronoamperometric detection was used to analyze the response to the desired biomolecules over the wide detection range. A detection limit of 0.1 ng mL−1 for cortisol and 0.1 mM for lactate was established and a correlation between concentration and current was observed. A portable, handheld potentiostat assembled with Bluetooth communication and battery operation enables the developed system for point-of-care applications. A sandwich-like structure containing the sensing mechanisms as a prototype was designed to secure the biosensor to skin and use capillary action to draw sweat or other fluids toward the sensing mechanism. Overall, the immunosensor shows remarkable specificity, sensitivity as well as the noninvasive and point-of-care capabilities and allows the biosensor to be used as a versatile sensing platform in both developed and developing countries.

Original languageEnglish
Article number41
JournalNano-Micro Letters
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Cortisol sensor
  • Electrochemical
  • Graphene
  • Immunosensor
  • Screen-printed electrodes


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