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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle

Ratiometric Decoding of Pheromones for a Biomimetic Infochemical Communication System

Microsensors and Bioelectronics Laboratory, School of Engineering, University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL, UK
School of Information & Electronic Engineering, Shandong Technology and Business University, Yantai 264005, China
School of Engineering and Computing Sciences, Durham University, Durham DH1 3LE, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sensors 2017, 17(11), 2489;
Received: 6 September 2017 / Revised: 13 October 2017 / Accepted: 20 October 2017 / Published: 30 October 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Surface Acoustic Wave and Bulk Acoustic Wave Sensors)
Biosynthetic infochemical communication is an emerging scientific field employing molecular compounds for information transmission, labelling, and biochemical interfacing; having potential application in diverse areas ranging from pest management to group coordination of swarming robots. Our communication system comprises a chemoemitter module that encodes information by producing volatile pheromone components and a chemoreceiver module that decodes the transmitted ratiometric information via polymer-coated piezoelectric Surface Acoustic Wave Resonator (SAWR) sensors. The inspiration for such a system is based on the pheromone-based communication between insects. Ten features are extracted from the SAWR sensor response and analysed using multi-variate classification techniques, i.e., Linear Discriminant Analysis (LDA), Probabilistic Neural Network (PNN), and Multilayer Perception Neural Network (MLPNN) methods, and an optimal feature subset is identified. A combination of steady state and transient features of the sensor signals showed superior performances with LDA and MLPNN. Although MLPNN gave excellent results reaching 100% recognition rate at 400 s, over all time stations PNN gave the best performance based on an expanded data-set with adjacent neighbours. In this case, 100% of the pheromone mixtures were successfully identified just 200 s after they were first injected into the wind tunnel. We believe that this approach can be used for future chemical communication employing simple mixtures of airborne molecules. View Full-Text
Keywords: ratiometric decoding; pheromone; biomimetic infochemical communication; VOC detection; SAW sensor array ratiometric decoding; pheromone; biomimetic infochemical communication; VOC detection; SAW sensor array
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MDPI and ACS Style

Wei, G.; Thomas, S.; Cole, M.; Rácz, Z.; Gardner, J.W. Ratiometric Decoding of Pheromones for a Biomimetic Infochemical Communication System. Sensors 2017, 17, 2489.

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