Using insect sniffing devices for detection

Glen C. Rains, Jeffery K. Tomberlin, Don Kulasiri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Citations (Scopus)


Emerging information about the ability of insects to detect and associatively learn has revealed that they could be used within chemical detection systems. Such systems have been developed around free-moving insects, such as honey bees. Alternatively, behavioral changes of contained insects can be interpreted by sampling air pumped over their olfactory organs. These organisms are highly sensitive, flexible, portable and cheap to reproduce, and it is easy to condition them to detect target odorants. However, insect-sensing systems are not widely studied or accepted as proven biological sensors. Further studies are needed to examine additional insect species and to develop better methods of using their olfactory system for detecting odorants of interest.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)288-294
Number of pages7
JournalTrends in biotechnology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2008
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering


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