Ora lo stress si potrà misurare grazie ad un cerotto

Roma, 9 febbraio 2021 – Grazie a un dispositivo indossabile, ora lo stress si potrà misurare. Lo rileverà attraverso il sudore e al valore del cortisolo. A raggiungere questo risultato sono stati i ricercatori del Nanolab della Scuola politecnica federale di Losanna e della società Xsensio. Il cortisolo è un ormone steroideo prodotto dalle ghiandole surrenali a partire dal colesterolo. La sua secrezione è controllata dall’ormone adrenocorticotropo (Acth), prodotto dalla ghiandola pituitaria. Il cortisolo svolge funzioni essenziali nel corpo per la regolazione del metabolismo, dei livelli di zucchero nel sangue e della pressione sanguigna e tocca anche il sistema immunitario e le funzioni cardiovascolari. Quando ci si trova in una situazione stressante, il cortisolo è l’ormone che prende il sopravvento. Istruisce il corpo a dirigere l’energia richiesta al cervello, ai muscoli e al cuore. Sebbene aiuti il corpo a rispondere a situazioni stressanti, in realtà è un’arma a doppio taglio. Di solito viene secreto durante il giorno secondo un ritmo circadiano, con un picco tra le 6 e le 8 di mattina per poi diminuire gradualmente nel pomeriggio e la sera. “Ma nelle persone che soffrono di malattie legate allo stress, questo ritmo circadiano viene completamente annullato – afferma Adrian Ionescu, tra i ricercatori che hanno condotto il lavoro – Se il corpo produce troppo o non abbastanza cortisolo, ciò può danneggiare seriamente la salute di un individuo, portando potenzialmente all’obesità, alle malattie cardiovascolari, alla depressione o al burnout”. L’applicativo è un cerotto intelligente indossabile che ha un sensore miniaturizzato. Ha un elettrodo in grafene che viene reso funzionale grazie agli aptametri, brevi frammenti di Dna o Rna a filamento singolo che si legano a composti specifici. Quando vengono a contatto con il cortisolo, questo viene catturato immediatamente e ne viene misurata la concentrazione. Finora, precisano gli studiosi, nessun altro sistema è stato sviluppato per il monitoraggio continuo delle concentrazioni di cortisolo durante tutto il ciclo circadiano. Grazie a questo sistema, continua Ionescu, è possibile “raccogliere dati quantitativi e oggettivi su alcune malattie legate allo stress”, in modo “non invasivo, preciso e istantaneo”.

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