Are there any electronic engineering technologies that allow people to make synthetic olfactory receptor that generate electrical impulses when exposed to certain proteins or molecules? If not, what are the primary challenges of creating such a device?

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    $\begingroup$ Have you performed any prior research - I'm asking, because the question is really broad. Do you mean electronic (macro)devices? or artificially bio-engineered proteins, or cells of some kind? $\endgroup$
    – AliceD
    Commented May 8, 2020 at 14:20
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    $\begingroup$ @AliceD At this point in time, I am interested in any detecting technology that can be customized to detect specific compounds similar to olfactory receptors. I have done some research, but I have not found anything that would be able to link into electronics systems and be reusable like our own nerves. I have done some research (my background is engineering), but it took me a good deal of time to even find anyone who could describe in detail how the olfactory receptors work to detect multiple smells. $\endgroup$
    – David
    Commented May 8, 2020 at 16:13
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for that, I've edited your post a little bit to clarify that point. and to hat end do you need this technology? For a sensorineural implant to replace the lost sense of olfaction (a biocompatible 'bionic nose')? Or is it more for some kind of computerized detection system that can, and should operate out of the body and 'simply' detect different odors? $\endgroup$
    – AliceD
    Commented May 8, 2020 at 18:12
  • $\begingroup$ My gut reaction is that this feels outside of Biology per se; there are certainly chemical "sniffers" of a variety of types - can you explain how your question necessarily relates to biology per se? As far as how olfactory receptors work, have you tried introductory-level neuroscience textbooks? It's pretty common for them to have at least a chapter on olfaction. $\endgroup$
    – Bryan Krause
    Commented May 8, 2020 at 18:14
  • $\begingroup$ Depending on just what you mean by "olfactory receptor", this might be an absolutely trivial question. Ckips that can "smell" for instance carbon monoxide are readily available for a couple of bucks. Others can smell CO2, alcohol, LPG, the oxygen in your car's exhaust, explosives... $\endgroup$
    – jamesqf
    Commented May 8, 2020 at 23:02


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