For the quantitative determination of stress-associated biomarkers predominantly biochemical analytical methods are used. Stress-associated biomarkers can be measured in the following biological sample specimens:

The following well-established biomarkers in stress research are of main interest: markers of the autonomic nervous system, endocrine markers, and immunological markers.

Autonomic nervous system:

  • catecholamines (blood)
  • alpha-amylase (saliva)

Endocrine system:

hormones, for example,

  • cortisol (saliva, blood or hair)
  • adrenocorticotropic hormone (blood)
  • testosterone (saliva)
  • dehydroepiandrosterone, DHEA (saliva)

immune system:

  • cytokines (blood and saliva)
  • immunoglobulins (blood and saliva)
  • lymphocyte-subpopulations (blood)

The following analytical methods are used in the BCL:

  • immunoassays

Immunoassays are a method for quantifying concentrations of analytes using an antigen-antibody-reaction. At the BCL, the following immunoassays are used:

  • enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA)
  • luminescence immunoassay (LIA)
  • enzymatic-photometric test

This test is used to quantify the activity of enzymes such as alpha-amylase.