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Elucidation of olfactory mechanism and development of olfactory sensor

【LIFE SCIENCE】 Yohda Unit 2

  • Overview

    Organisms obtain various information from the smell in the environment. Just as police dogs in criminal investigations and drug detection dogs at airports, the animal olfactory sense has extremely high sensitivity and high discrimination, and no artificial smell detection device has achieved such performance. The olfactory nerve cells in the epithelia in the nasal cavity express membrane proteins called olfactory receptors and act as sensors. There are several hundred olfactory receptors per species, and their response to odor differs from one another. We are conducting research to elucidate the odor response mechanism of olfactory receptors and develop an olfactory sensor using olfactory receptors. The olfactory receptor is a membrane protein and is extremely difficult to study. We are developing olfactory receptor potent expression technology and are working on elucidation of its structure and function. In addition, by analyzing the response patterns of multiple olfactory receptors when exposed to odor molecules from the gas phase, we have succeeded in identifying odor molecules that are very close in chemical structure. This technology is expected to be applied to the development of an odor sensor that mimics the sense of smell.

Team Head

International Researcher(s)

Members

Yosuke Fukutani  (Institute of Engineering / Assistant Professor)

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