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Sensors 2017, 17(12), 2881; doi:10.3390/s17122881

Biomimetic Sensors for the Senses: Towards Better Understanding of Taste and Odor Sensation

1
Institute of Medical Engineering, School of Basic Medical Science, Health Science Center, Xi’an Jiaotong University, Xi’an 710061, China
2
College of Life Sciences, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310013, China
3
Monell Chemical Senses Center, 3500 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA
4
The Institute of Biochemistry, Food Science and Nutrition, The Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Rehovot 76100, Israel
5
Biosensor National Special Laboratory, Key Laboratory for Biomedical Engineering of Ministry of Education, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310027, China
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 27 October 2017 / Revised: 2 December 2017 / Accepted: 5 December 2017 / Published: 11 December 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electronic Tongues and Electronic Noses)
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Abstract

Taste and smell are very important chemical senses that provide indispensable information on food quality, potential mates and potential danger. In recent decades, much progress has been achieved regarding the underlying molecular and cellular mechanisms of taste and odor senses. Recently, biosensors have been developed for detecting odorants and tastants as well as for studying ligand-receptor interactions. This review summarizes the currently available biosensing approaches, which can be classified into two main categories: in vitro and in vivo approaches. The former is based on utilizing biological components such as taste and olfactory tissues, cells and receptors, as sensitive elements. The latter is dependent on signals recorded from animals’ signaling pathways using implanted microelectrodes into living animals. Advantages and disadvantages of these two approaches, as well as differences in terms of sensing principles and applications are highlighted. The main current challenges, future trends and prospects of research in biomimetic taste and odor sensors are discussed. View Full-Text
Keywords: biomimetic sensors for senses; taste sensation; odor sensation; olfaction; biosensors; chemical sensing; signal transduction biomimetic sensors for senses; taste sensation; odor sensation; olfaction; biosensors; chemical sensing; signal transduction
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Wu, C.; Du, Y.-W.; Huang, L.; Ben-Shoshan Galeczki, Y.; Dagan-Wiener, A.; Naim, M.; Niv, M.Y.; Wang, P. Biomimetic Sensors for the Senses: Towards Better Understanding of Taste and Odor Sensation. Sensors 2017, 17, 2881.

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