Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Artificial 'Snot' Enhances Electronic Nose

Date:
April 30, 2007
Source:
University of Warwick
Summary:
Scientists have used an artificial snot (nasal mucus) to significantly enhance the performance of electronic noses. The snot greatly improves the performance of the electronic devices allowing them to pick out a more diverse range of smells.

University of Warwick researcher Professor Julian Gardner with a sensor used by odor-sensing "electronic noses" that mimic the action of the mucus in the natural nose.
Credit: Image courtesy of University of Warwick

Researchers at The University of Warwick and Leicester University have used an artificial snot (nasal mucus) to significantly enhance the performance of electronic noses.

The researchers have coated the sensors used by odour-sensing "electronic noses” with a mix of polymers that mimics the action of the mucus in the natural nose. This greatly improves the performance of the electronic devices allowing them to pick out a more diverse range of smells.

A natural nose uses over 100 million specialised receptors or sensors which act together in complex ways to identify and tell apart the molecules they encounter. Electronic noses, used in a number of commercial settings including quality control in the food industry, use the same method but often have less than 50 sensors.This means that electronic noses can discern a much smaller range of smells than the natural nose.

However the University of Warwick and Leicester University team have found a way to replicate in their electronic devices how the natural nose’s mucus enhances our sense of smell.

In the natural nose the thin layer of mucus dissolves scents and separates out different odour molecules in a way they arrive at the noses receptors at different speeds/times. Humans are then able to use this information on the differences in time taken to reach different nose receptors to pick apart a diverse range of smells.

The Warwick and Leicester team have employed an artificial mucus layer to mimic this process. They placed a 10-micron-thick layer of a polymer normally used to separate gases on the sensors within their electronic nose.They then tested it on a range of compounds and found that their artificial snot substantially improved the performance of their electronic nose allowing it to tell apart smells such as milk and banana which had previously been challenging smells for the device.

University of Warwick researcher Professor Julian Gardner says: “Our artificial mucus not only offers improved odour discrimination for electronic noses it also offers much shorter analysis times than conventional techniques”.

The final device including the sensors and the artificial mucus is contained in a relatively thin piece of plastic just a few centimeters square and costing less than five UK pounds (10 US Dollars) to produce.

The research has just been published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society and the research was funded by EPSRC.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Warwick. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Warwick. "Artificial 'Snot' Enhances Electronic Nose." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 April 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070430093948.htm>.
University of Warwick. (2007, April 30). Artificial 'Snot' Enhances Electronic Nose. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070430093948.htm
University of Warwick. "Artificial 'Snot' Enhances Electronic Nose." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070430093948.htm (accessed August 22, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Friday, August 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Is It a Plane? No, It's a Hoverbike

Is It a Plane? No, It's a Hoverbike

Reuters - Business Video Online (Aug. 22, 2014) UK-based Malloy Aeronautics is preparing to test a manned quadcopter capable of out-manouvering a helicopter and presenting a new paradigm for aerial vehicles. A 1/3-sized scale model is already gaining popularity with drone enthusiasts around the world, with the full-sized manned model expected to take flight in the near future. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Coal Gas Boom in China Holds Climate Risks

Coal Gas Boom in China Holds Climate Risks

AP (Aug. 22, 2014) China's energy revolution could do more harm than good for the environment, despite the country's commitment to reducing pollution and curbing its carbon emissions. (Aug. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Former TSA X-Ray Scanners Easily Tricked To Miss Weapons

Former TSA X-Ray Scanners Easily Tricked To Miss Weapons

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) Researchers found the scanners could be duped simply by placing a weapon off to the side of the body or encasing it under a plastic shield. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Flower Power! Dandelions Make Car Tires?

Flower Power! Dandelions Make Car Tires?

Reuters - Business Video Online (Aug. 20, 2014) Forget rolling on rubber, could car drivers soon be traveling on tires made from dandelions? Teams of scientists are racing to breed a type of the yellow flower whose taproot has a milky fluid with tire-grade rubber particles in it. As Joanna Partridge reports, global tire makers are investing millions in research into a new tire source. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins