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A review of olfactory cell-based sensors: coupling microelectronics to olfactory cells

Qianqian Zheng (School of Biomedical Engineering, Wenzhou Medical University, Wenzhou, China)
Liangliang Chen (School of Biomedical Engineering, Wenzhou Medical University, Wenzhou, China)
Luyao Lu (School of Biomedical Engineering, Wenzhou Medical University, Wenzhou, China)
Xuesong Ye (Department of Biomedical Engineering, ZheJiang University, Hangzhou, China)

Sensor Review

ISSN: 0260-2288

Article publication date: 19 September 2016

Abstract

Purpose

Olfaction plays a very important role in daily life. The olfactory system has the ability to recognize, discriminate and identify thousands of odorant compounds with extremely high sensitivity and specificity. The research on olfactory system has very important values in exploring the mechanisms of information processing in the other sensory nervous systems and brain. Recently, with the development of molecular biological and microelectronics technology research, the study of olfactory cell-based sensors has made great progress. The purpose of this paper is to provide details of recent developments in olfactory cell-based sensors.

Design/methodology/approach

Following an introduction, this paper first discusses some olfactory cell-based biosensors, which focus on the light-addressable potentiometric sensors and the microelectrode arrays. Second, surface modification, microfabrication and microfluidic technology which can improve the efficiency of cell immobilization will be summarized. The research trends of olfactory cell-based sensor in future will be proposed.

Findings

This paper shows that the biosensors’ performance is expected to be greatly improved due to the fast development of nanotechnology, optical technology and microelectronics. More and more emerging intelligent olfactory sensors will have a promising prospect in many application fields, including food quality and safety assessment, environmental monitor and human diseases detection.

Originality/value

This paper provides a detailed and timely review of the rapidly growing research in the olfactory cell-based sensors.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This research is supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China under Grant 61302130 and the Professional Development Program of the Visiting Scholar on Zhejiang Education Department.

Citation

Zheng, Q., Chen, L., Lu, L. and Ye, X. (2016), "A review of olfactory cell-based sensors: coupling microelectronics to olfactory cells", Sensor Review, Vol. 36 No. 4, pp. 446-455. https://doi.org/10.1108/SR-03-2016-0062

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2016, Emerald Group Publishing Limited