BUSAN, March 8 (Korea Bizwire) – A new type of artificial nose, or electronic nose, has been developed by Pusan National University researchers, and is able to detect endocrine disruptors and distinguish the place of origin for food products, and, with further research, even track down cancer cells.
Such devices identify substances from odors that are typically imperceptible to a human nose. The technology has been around for some time now, and is often used for quality control in the food, beverage, and cosmetics industries, medical diagnosis, and environmental applications such as detecting gas leaks.
Most of the current research is focused on making the devices smaller and more sensitive.
The latest device by the South Korean researchers was developed by sequencing M-13 bacteriophage, a type of harmless virus that was proliferated from E. coli bacteria as a host, in a specific order.
Once the photonic nose is exposed to an aromatic chemical substance with a specific smell, a structural change occurs in the sequence of bacteriophage, altering the device’s color depending on the type of substance that it made contact with.
“Our artificial nose can detect various aromatic chemical substances that are emitted by cell respiration,” said Oh Jin-woo, professor at PNU’s College of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology. “Further progress in our research could make possible the detection of cancer cells.”
The team’s full research findings were published in the January edition of Chemical Science by Royal Society of Chemistry.
By Lina Jang (email@example.com)