Advances in odour sensing technologies and artificial intelligence have given impetus to the use of smell in various fields, such as food safety, disease diagnosis, security, and the environment. Current electronic noses, based on electronic sensors, have considerable limitations in terms of sensitivity, reliability, and selectivity.
In order to mimic the animal nose, project BOND (Bioelectronic Olfactory Neuron Device) proposes a new bioelectronic nose based on olfactory receptors. For this purpose, micro/nano, bio, and information technologies have joined together to develop a nanobioplatform, with a user-friendly interface and an odorant identification algorithm for detecting and discriminating between odorants. The olfactory receptors are anchored to nanotransducers, which pick up and process the odours detected by the receptors.
A joint team of the Nanobioengineering Group of Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia (IBEC) and the University of Barcelona led by Prof. Josep Samitier, coordinates project BOND, which is made up of a multidisciplinary European consortium of eight partners. They have expertise in biotechnology, surface chemistry, nanofabrication, electronics and theoretical modelling. The project is funded by the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research and technology development. On 7 and 8 October, the BOND consortium will be holding the kick-off meeting in Barcelona, organized by IBEC.