Mass spectrometric detection of cortisol in hair samples

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Faith E. Howell (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Norman Chiu

Abstract: Stress is experienced all over the world in various forms. It is typically diagnosed through the evaluation of psychological and physical factors. These diagnoses are often time consuming. Stress can negatively impact individual’s health and quality of life and treatment for stress is often difficult because stress tolerance levels are different for everyone. Cortisol is a steroid hormone that is released as a response to stress and changes in blood sugar levels. Cortisol is produced naturally in humans and is detectable in blood, urine, saliva, and hair. Liquid chromatography (LC) coupled with mass spectrometry (MS) is a useful analytical technique in biological research. The goal of this study is to develop an LC-MS method that will allow clinical researchers and healthcare professionals to quickly quantify cortisol levels of individuals over a specific timeframe. Our research focuses on cortisol produced in human hair. The goal is to integrate the methods in the literature and establish a non-invasive method for quantifying cortisol in hair samples. We seek to replace a commercialized immunodetection method for measuring extracted cortisol with an ultra-performance liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (UPLC-MS/MS) method due to its benefits of higher sensitivity and lower running costs. In the LC-MS method, reversed phase chromatography is used. The eluent from the LC column is ionized by electrospray ionization. The triple quadrupole mass spectrometer is operated in selected reaction monitoring (SRM) mode. A standard curve was used to determine that the linear dynamic range of the cortisol was 0.80-500 ng/mL. The long-term goal of this research project is to apply the established LC-MS method to determine the cortisol level in hair and correlate the information to stress level experienced by individuals, in a collaborative research study in the School of Nursing at UNCG. [This abstract has been edited to remove characters that will not display in this system. Please see the PDF for the full abstract.]

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2018
Cortisol, Hair, Human, LC-MS, Mass Spectrometry, Method
Hair $x Analysis
Hydrocortisone $x Analysis
Stress (Psychology) $x Diagnosis
Liquid chromatography
Mass spectrometry

Email this document to