Single-step label-free nanowell immunoassay accurately quantifies serum stress hormones within minutes

S. Reza Mahmoodi, Pengfei Xie, Daniel P. Zachs, Erik J. Peterson, Rachel S Graham, Claire R Kaiser, Hubert H. Lim, Mark G. Allen, Mehdi Javanmard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


A non-faradaic label-free cortisol sensing platform is presented using a nanowell array design, in which the two probe electrodes are integrated within the nanowell structure. Rapid and low volume (≤5 μl) sensing was realized through functionalizing nanoscale volume wells with antibodies and monitoring the real-time binding events. A 28-well plate biochip was built on a glass substrate by sequential deposition, patterning, and etching steps to create a stack nanowell array sensor with an electrode gap of 40 nm. Sensor response for cortisol concentrations between 1 and 15 μg/dl in buffer solution was recorded, and a limit of detection of 0.5 μg/dl was achieved. Last, 65 human serum samples were collected to compare the response from human serum samples with results from the standard enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). These results confirm that nanowell array sensors could be a promising platform for point-of-care testing, where real-time, laboratory-quality diagnostic results are essential.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbereabf4401
JournalScience Advances
Issue number27
StatePublished - Jun 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was sponsored by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Biological Technologies Office (BTO) Electrical Prescriptions (ElectRx) program managed by E. V. Giesen through the DARPA Contracts Management Office Grant/Contract Number HR0011-16-2-0026 and Contract Number N660011824018. The views, opinions, and/ or findings expressed are those of the authors and should not be interpreted as representing the official views or policies of the Department of Defense or the U.S. government. The devices were fabricated using tools in the Rutgers Weeks Hall Micro and Nanofabrication Facility, and City University of New York Center for Nanofabrication.

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2021 The Authors, some rights reserved.


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