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Development of a surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy-based immunoassay sensor for the selective and sensitive determination of cortisol in biological fluids

Grant number: 18/24202-5
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Post-doctor
Effective date (Start): June 01, 2019
Effective date (End): May 31, 2020
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Chemistry - Analytical Chemistry
Principal Investigator:Maria Del Pilar Taboada Sotomayor
Grantee:Javier Erick Lobatón Villa
Supervisor: Luis Manuel Liz Marzan
Host Institution: Instituto de Química (IQ). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Araraquara. Araraquara , SP, Brazil
Research place: Centre for Cooperative Research in Biomaterials (CIC biomaGUNE), Spain  
Associated to the scholarship:17/24196-2 - Development of ultrasensitive and selective spectrochemical sensors for the determination of hormones in environmental samples and biological fluids, BP.PD


Cortisol is a steroid hormone that plays a key role for regulating several physiological processes, including anti-stress and anti-inflammatory responses of human body. Since measurement of cortisol levels in biological fluids can serve as a biomarker for numerous diseases, its determination in represents a crucial task for human health care. In this sense, the development of reliable, sensitive and selective analytical methods capable to quantify cortisol at physiologically relevant concentrations are urgently required. In this research project, we propose the development of a novel cortisol biosensor by combining surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) and a competitive immunoassay. For this, highly homogeneous gold nanoparticles with two different shapes (spheres and stars) will be synthesized, functionalized with a Raman reporter and used as reproducible SERS nanotags. To take advantage of possible plasmon coupling modes and to develop a robust and reliable assay, the performance of three different capture substrates [gold film over sheet silicate (mica), gold film over nanospheres (AuFON) and magnetic beads] will be compared in terms of sensitivity and repeatability. Finally, the proposed SERS-based immunoassay will be validated though the calculation of figures of merit (accuracy, precision, limits of detection and quantification, etc.) in the analysis of biological fluids reference materials. It is expected that this cortisol biosensor, not previously reported, might help to move SERS from a niche detection strategy to a general analytical technique for human health care. (AU)

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Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
VILLA, JAVIER E. L.; GARCIA, ISABEL; JIMENEZ DE ABERASTURI, DORLETA; PAVLOV, VALERI; SOTOMAYOR, MARIA D. P. T.; LIZ-MARZAN, LUIS M.. SERS-based immunoassay for monitoring cortisol-related disorders. BIOSENSORS & BIOELECTRONICS, v. 165, . (14/50945-4, 18/24202-5)

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