Lab on the Microneedles: A Wearable Metal-organic Frameworks-Based Sensor for Visual Monitoring of Stress Hormone.

ACS nano(2024)

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Abnormal secretion and dysrhythmias of cortisol (CORT) are associated with various diseases such as sleep disorders, depression, and chronic fatigue. Wearable devices are a cutting-edge technology for point-of-care detection and dynamic monitoring of CORT with inspiring convenience. Herein, we developed a minimally invasive skin-worn device with the advanced integration of both interstitial fluid (ISF) sampling and target molecule sensing for simultaneous detection of CORT via a microneedle-based sensor with high sensitivity, excellent efficiency, and outstanding reproducibility. In the microneedle patch, swellable hydrogel was employed as the adsorption matrix for ISF extraction. Meanwhile, europium metal-organic frameworks (Eu-MOF) wrapped in the matrix played a vital role in CORT recognition and quantitative analysis. The wearable and label-free Eu-MOF-loaded microneedle patch exhibited high sensitivity in CORT detection with the detection limit reaching 10-9 M and excellent selectivity. Molecular dynamics simulation-driven mechanism exploration revealed that the strong interface interaction promoted fluorescence quenching of Eu-MOF. Moreover, in vitro and in vivo investigation confirmed the feasibility and reliability of the sensing method, and excellent biocompatibility was validated. Overall, a sensitive approach based on the wearable Eu-MOF microneedle (MN) patch was established for the simultaneous detection of CORT via visible fluorescence quenching with exciting clinical-translational ability.
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