Highly sensitive VOC detectors using insect olfactory receptors reconstituted into lipid bilayers

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Science Advances  13 Jan 2021:
Vol. 7, no. 3, eabd2013
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abd2013


This paper reports a volatile organic compound (VOC) sensor based on olfactory receptors that were reconstituted into a lipid bilayer and used in a specifically designed gas flow system for rapid parts per billion (ppb)–level detection. This VOC sensor achieves both rapid detection and high detection probability because of its gas flow system and array design. Specifically, the gas flow system includes microchannels and hydrophobic microslits, which facilitate both the introduction of gas into the droplet and droplet mixing. We installed this system into a parallel lipid bilayer device and subsequently demonstrated parts per billion–level (0.5 ppb) detection of 1-octen-3-ol in human breath. Therefore, this system extends the various applications of biological odorant sensing, including breath diagnosis systems and environmental monitoring.

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