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Title: Towards a cell-based chemo receiver for artificial insect olfaction
Author: Thomas, Sanju
ISNI:       0000 0004 7425 5524
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2017
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Infochemical communication is ubiquitous amongst all living organisms, and particularly important in insects. Because smell being the most common basic means of chemical communication, infochemical blends must be constantly decoded in order to proclaim their readiness to mate, to mark out territorial boundaries, to warn off intruders and predators or, in some cases, to locate food or predators with millisecond precision. The central challenge of the thesis was to mimic nature in both cellular and molecular levels on to a technological platform that aids in the development of a new class of technology employing chemicals alone to communicate over space and time. This thesis describes a body of work conducted in the development of a miniaturised, smart and label-free cell-based chemoreceiver for artificial insect olfaction, as part of the development of a novel biomimetic infochemical communication system. A surface acoustic wave based microsensor has been utilized to engineer and develop a chemoreceiver system that mimics the cellular and molecular mechanisms occurring during infochemical detection and decoding in insects. Successful recovery of ratiometric information with the aid of polymer-based gas-phase measurements, established the concept of chemical communication. Thus, small scale, high-throughput infochemical communication has been realized by a combination of precise spatiotemporal signal generation using fruit volatiles and insect sex pheromones with highly sensitive detection and signal processing. This was followed by the investigation of the feasibility of using the prototype cell-based biosensor system in a static mode for artificial insect olfaction applications, mimicking the cellular detection in the receptor/antenna apparatus of insects. Finally, as part of the development of a compact and low-power portable chemoreceiver system, the discrete sensor drive and interface circuitry was deployed in an analogue VLSI chip, thereby overcoming the associated measurement complexity and equipment cost, in addition to extending the reach and functionality of point of use technologies.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: QH Natural history