TITLE

An Experimental Biomimetic Platform for Artificial Olfaction

AUTHOR(S)
di Natale, Corrado; Martinelli, Eugenio; Paolesse, Roberto; d'Amico, Arnaldo; Filippini, Daniel; Lundström, Ingemar
PUB. DATE
September 2008
SOURCE
PLoS ONE;2008, Vol. 3 Issue 9, p1
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
Artificial olfactory systems have been studied for the last two decades mainly from the point of view of the features of olfactory neuron receptor fields. Other fundamental olfaction properties have only been episodically considered in artificial systems. As a result, current artificial olfactory systems are mostly intended as instruments and are of poor benefit for biologists who may need tools to model and test olfactory models. Herewith, we show how a simple experimental approach can be used to account for several phenomena observed in olfaction. An artificial epithelium is formed as a disordered distributed layer of broadly selective color indicators dispersed in a transparent polymer layer. The whole epithelium is probed with colored light, imaged with a digital camera and the olfactory response upon exposure to an odor is the change of the multispectral image. The pixels are treated as olfactory receptor neurons, whose optical properties are used to build a convergence classifier into a number of mathematically defined artificial glomeruli. A non-homogenous exposure of the test structure to the odours gives rise to a time and spatial dependence of the response of the different glomeruli strikingly similar to patterns observed in the olfactory bulb. The model seems to mimick both the formation of glomeruli, the zonal nature of olfactory epithelium, and the spatio-temporal signal patterns at the glomeruli level. This platform is able to provide a readily available test vehicle for chemists developing optical indicators for chemical sensing purposes and for biologists to test models of olfactory system organization.
ACCESSION #
55637486

 

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