The monitoring of salivary cortisol as a key biomarker of an individual's stress response has been increasingly focused on. This paper describes the development of a novel cortisol immuno-assay method based on an indirect competitive method using a commercially available surface plasmon resonance instrument. The surface of an Au chip was modified with PEG6-COOH aromatic dialkanethiol self-assembled monolayers and hydrocortisone 3-(O-carboxymethyl) oxime (hydrocortisone 3-CMO) as a cortisol analog. A detection limit of 38 ppt range with a measurement range of 10 ppt-100 ppb was accomplished without the incubation of a mixing solution consisting of standard cortisol and an anti-cortisol antibody, and the time for quantification of cortisol concentration was 8 min from the sample injection. We experimentally compared our immuno-assay with a commercialized salivary cortisol enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) kit using human saliva samples. It was found that the results obtained by the cortisol immuno-assay had a good correlation with those obtained by ELISA assay (R = 0.96). Our findings indicate the potential utility of the cortisol immuno-assay for measurements of human salivary cortisol levels.
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