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Sensors 2017, 17(5), 1073;

Identification of Chinese Herbal Medicines with Electronic Nose Technology: Applications and Challenges

School of Information Engineering, Guangdong University of Technology, Guangzhou 510006, China
College of Medical Information Engineering, Guangdong Pharmaceutical University, Guangzhou 510006, China
School of Engineering, Computer and Mathematical Sciences, Auckland University of Technology, Private Bag 92006, Auckland 1142, New Zealand
College of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Guangdong Pharmaceutical University, Guangzhou 510006, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Christos Riziotis, Evangelos Hristoforou and Dimitrios Vlachos
Received: 30 March 2017 / Revised: 3 May 2017 / Accepted: 3 May 2017 / Published: 9 May 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Materials and Applications for Sensors and Transducers)
PDF [832 KB, uploaded 16 May 2017]


This paper provides a review of the most recent works in machine olfaction as applied to the identification of Chinese Herbal Medicines (CHMs). Due to the wide variety of CHMs, the complexity of growing sources and the diverse specifications of herb components, the quality control of CHMs is a challenging issue. Much research has demonstrated that an electronic nose (E-nose) as an advanced machine olfaction system, can overcome this challenge through identification of the complex odors of CHMs. E-nose technology, with better usability, high sensitivity, real-time detection and non-destructive features has shown better performance in comparison with other analytical techniques such as gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Although there has been immense development of E-nose techniques in other applications, there are limited reports on the application of E-noses for the quality control of CHMs. The aim of current study is to review practical implementation and advantages of E-noses for robust and effective odor identification of CHMs. It covers the use of E-nose technology to study the effects of growing regions, identification methods, production procedures and storage time on CHMs. Moreover, the challenges and applications of E-nose for CHM identification are investigated. Based on the advancement in E-nose technology, odor may become a new quantitative index for quality control of CHMs and drug discovery. It was also found that more research could be done in the area of odor standardization and odor reproduction for remote sensing. View Full-Text
Keywords: electronic nose; Chinese Herbal Medicines; odor identification; olfactory systems electronic nose; Chinese Herbal Medicines; odor identification; olfactory systems

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Zhou, H.; Luo, D.; GholamHosseini, H.; Li, Z.; He, J. Identification of Chinese Herbal Medicines with Electronic Nose Technology: Applications and Challenges. Sensors 2017, 17, 1073.

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