Team Develops Cancer Detector Using Mosquito's Sense of Smell

Science Society Technology

Tokyo, Jan. 14 (Jiji Press)--A Japanese research team has developed a small sensor to detect an odor substance found in the breath of cancer sufferers using mosquito olfactory receptors.

A paper about the development has been published in the U.S. journal Science Advances.

The team, led mainly by University of Tokyo professor Shoji Takeuchi, aims to put the sensor, which can be created at low cost and is said to be highly accurate, to practical use as early as in 10 years.

The antennae of a mosquito have about 100 kinds of odorant receptors, each designed to detect a specific odor substance. The receptors are located on the surface of olfactory cells.

When an odorant receptor connects with a specific odorant molecule, a hole opens up on the cellular membrane to let ions enter the cell, allowing the smell to be detected.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press