A Pharmacokinetic Model of a Tissue Implantable Cortisol Sensor

Michael A. Lee, Naveed Bakh, Gili Bisker, Emery N. Brown, Michael S. Strano*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cortisol is an important glucocorticoid hormone whose biochemistry influences numerous physiological and pathological processes. Moreover, it is a biomarker of interest for a number of conditions, including posttraumatic stress disorder, Cushing's syndrome, Addison's disease, and others. An implantable biosensor capable of real time monitoring of cortisol concentrations in adipose tissue may revolutionize the diagnosis and treatment of these disorders, as well as provide an invaluable research tool. Toward this end, a mathematical model, informed by the physiological literature, is developed to predict dynamic cortisol concentrations in adipose, muscle, and brain tissues, where a significant number of important processes with cortisol occur. The pharmacokinetic model is applied to both a prototypical, healthy male patient and a previously studied Cushing's disease patient. The model can also be used to inform the design of an implantable sensor by optimizing the sensor dissociation constant, apparent delay time, and magnitude of the sensor output versus system dynamics. Measurements from such a sensor would help to determine systemic cortisol levels, providing much needed insight for proper medical treatment for various cortisol-related conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3004-3015
Number of pages12
JournalAdvanced healthcare materials
Issue number23
StatePublished - 7 Dec 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • biosensors
  • cortisol
  • in vivo
  • physiologically based pharmacokinetic model


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