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Investigation of Cortisol Dynamics in Human Sweat Using a Graphene-Based Wireless mHealth System

Torrente-Rodríguez, Rebeca M. and Tu, Jiaobing and Yang, Yiran and Min, Jihong and Wang, Minqiang and Song, Yu and Yu, You and Xu, Changhao and Ye, Cui and IsHak, Waguih William and Gao, Wei (2020) Investigation of Cortisol Dynamics in Human Sweat Using a Graphene-Based Wireless mHealth System. Matter, 2 (4). pp. 921-937. ISSN 2590-2385. PMCID PMC7138219 .

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Prompt and accurate detection of stress is essential to the monitoring and management of mental health and human performance. Considering that current methods such as questionnaires are very subjective, we propose a highly sensitive, selective, miniaturized mHealth device based on laser-enabled flexible graphene sensor to non-invasively monitor the level of stress hormones (e.g., cortisol). We report a strong correlation between sweat and circulating cortisol and demonstrate the prompt determination of sweat cortisol variation in response to acute stress stimuli. Moreover, we demonstrate, for the first time, the diurnal cycle and stress-response profile of sweat cortisol, revealing the potential of dynamic stress monitoring enabled by this mHealth sensing system. We believe that this platform could contribute to fast, reliable, and decentralized healthcare vigilance at the metabolic level, thus providing an accurate snapshot of our physical, mental, and behavioral changes.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription CentralArticle
Tu, Jiaobing0000-0002-7653-6640
Yang, Yiran0000-0001-8770-8746
Min, Jihong0000-0002-5788-1473
Wang, Minqiang0000-0002-7775-8341
Song, Yu0000-0002-4185-2256
Yu, You0000-0001-7059-7023
Ye, Cui0000-0001-7689-6825
IsHak, Waguih William0000-0003-1970-4756
Gao, Wei0000-0002-8503-4562
Additional Information:© 2020 Elsevier Inc. Received 24 September 2019, Revised 21 November 2019, Accepted 27 January 2020, Available online 26 February 2020. This project was supported by the Rothenberg Innovation Initiative (RI2) program, the Carver Mead New Adventures Fund , Caltech-City of Hope Biomedical Research Initiative , and National Institutes of Health ( #5R21NR018271 ) (all to W.G.). J.T. was supported by the National Science Scholarship from the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A∗STAR), Singapore. We gratefully acknowledge critical support and infrastructure provided for this work by the Kavli Nanoscience Institute and Jim Hall Design and Prototyping Lab at Caltech, and we gratefully thank Dr. Matthew Hunt and Bruce Dominguez for their help. We also thank Dr. Chiara Daraio and Vincenzo Costanza for the technical support and helpful assistance with infrared imaging. Author Contributions: W.G., R.M.T.-R., and J.T. initiated the concept; W.G., R.M.T.-R., J.T., and W.W.I. designed the experiments; R.M.T.-R. and J.T. led the experiments and collected the overall data; Y.Y. performed electrode fabrication and characterization; J.M. performed the circuit design and test; C.X., C.Y., M.W., Y.S., and Y.Y. contributed to sensor characterization; W.G., R.M.T.-R., and J.T. contributed the data analysis and co-wrote the paper. All authors provided feedback on the manuscript. Data and Code Availability: The data that support the plots within this paper and other findings of this study are available from the corresponding author upon reasonable request. The authors declare no competing interests.
Group:Kavli Nanoscience Institute
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Rothenberg Innovation Initiative (RI2)UNSPECIFIED
Carver Mead New Adventures FundUNSPECIFIED
Caltech-City of Hope Biomedical InitiativeUNSPECIFIED
Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR)UNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:MAP3: Understanding; graphene; flexible sensors; mHealth; stress hormone; sweat; cortisol; stress response
Issue or Number:4
PubMed Central ID:PMC7138219
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20200227-094530814
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Rebeca M. Torrente-Rodríguez, Jiaobing Tu, Yiran Yang, Jihong Min, Minqiang Wang, Yu Song, You Yu, Changhao Xu, Cui Ye, Waguih William IsHak, Wei Gao, Investigation of Cortisol Dynamics in Human Sweat Using a Graphene-Based Wireless mHealth System, Matter, Volume 2, Issue 4, 2020, Pages 921-937, ISSN 2590-2385, (
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:101607
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:27 Feb 2020 18:48
Last Modified:19 Nov 2020 22:50

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