Research press release


Scientific Reports

Biotechnology: Sniffing out improvements in vapour detection


今回、Matthew Staymatesの研究チームは、イヌの鼻に解剖学的に類似した物体を3Dプリンターで作製し、それを用いてイヌの匂い嗅ぎの外部空気力学的特性を調べた。空気の流れを可視化する実験が行われ、匂い嗅ぎの呼気相に鼻から発する空気ジェットによって鼻の前面にある蒸気を含んだ空気が鼻孔に引き寄せられることが判明した。こうした鼻による匂い嗅ぎで、匂い物質の検出能力が空気を継続的に吸い込む場合の18倍に達したことも明らかになった。



Sniffing may improve the ability of vapour detectors to detect chemicals such as TNT, according to a study in Scientific Reports this week. Using a 3D printed model of a dog nose, the authors investigated the aerodynamics of sniffing and used their findings to fabricate an inlet for an explosives detector which could then “sniff” like a dog. The modification was found to produce a 16-fold improvement in the device’s detection ability.

Using a 3D printed, anatomically-similar dog’s nose, Matthew Staymates and colleagues investigated the external aerodynamics of canine sniffing. In flow visualization experiments, the authors found that during the expiratory phase of sniffing, air jets leaving the nose draw vapour-laden air from in front of the nose towards the nostrils. They found that odorant detection increased by a factor of 18 when the nose “sniffed” compared to continuously inhaling air.

Based on their findings, the authors designed a custom inlet for a commercially available vapour detection system that mimics the same aerodynamic principles used by dogs. They found that, compared to continuously drawing in air (the normal operating mode for the device), sniffing produced a 16-fold improvement in the detection of TNT vapours.

The authors suggest that the lessons learned from dogs may benefit the next generation of vapour samplers for use in the detection of explosives and narcotics.

doi: 10.1038/srep36876

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