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Smartwatch Measures Key Stress Hormone

Cortisol is well-suited for measurement through wearable devices, according to UCLA's Sam Emaminejad, because its concentration levels in sweat are similar to its circulating levels.

Credit: Yichao Zhao and Zhaoqing Wang/UCLA

A smartwatch developed by University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and Columbia University researchers can measure cortisol levels in perspiration, building on previous innovations.

The device integrates a strip of adhesive film that collects tiny sweat samples with a sensor that detects the stress hormone using engineered DNA strands called aptamers.

When cortisol binds, aptamers change shape and alter electric fields at the surface of a transistor.

"I anticipate that the ability to monitor variations in cortisol closely across time will be very instructive for people with psychiatric disorders," said UCLA's Anne Andrews.

From UCLA Newsroom
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