Thursday, February 8, 2018

Oh, patents! NeOse PRO™

Copyright © Françoise Herrmann

Do you have a digital nose? If you cannot imagine digitizing something as body-mediated as an odor, then take a peek at Aryballe Technologies’ NeOse PRO™. This is exactly what this technology does.  From the user's perspective, odorant VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) bind to 40 specific biosensors on a gold-covered prism. The pattern resulting from the way the VOCs bind is photographed, digitized and stored in a database of odorant patterns, on a remote server. When an odor is identified (pattern-matched in the database of digitized odorants), the information is sent back to the user’s mobile phone app. The reading of odors takes about 30 seconds. The technology invokes a combination of nanotech, biotech, IT, cognitive sciences and proprietary algorithms enabling to differentiate odors that are similar.  

Applications currently exist in the cosmetics, food and environmental industries, where the NeOse PRO™ can respectively: assist with standardization of sensory evaluations; assist with the evaluation of product conformity, and measure air quality indoors, almost in real time.

The technology designated Surface Plasmon Resonance imagery (SPRi) adapted to sensory analysis was initially developed in a partnership between the CNRS (France’s National Center for Scientific Research) and the CEA (France’s Center for Atomic Energy). Aryballe Technologies applied SPRi to the analysis of odorants, and then developed the handheld odor-detection device, together with the onboard mobile technology. 

The NeOse Pro technology was originally recited for both electronic nose and tongue applications in the following patent family:
The abstract for WO2013124810 is included below.  An image of the odor detector, as it was presented at CES 2018 is also included. This device won a Smart Cities CES 2018 Innovation Award. 
The present invention relates to a sensor for an electronic tongue or nose for analysing a sample or detecting a target. The sensor comprises a support, on one surface of which a plurality of sensitive areas are located, each sensitive area comprising at least one receptor and being capable of transmitting a measurable signal generated by the interaction of at least one constituent of the sample or one target with at least one receptor. The sensor is characterised in that it comprises at least three sensitive areas that differ from one another in terms of their respective receptor compositions, at least one of the sensitive areas comprising a mixture of at least two different receptors, while the two other sensitive areas each comprise at least one of the two receptors. [Abstract WO2013124810]
Now, do you also have a digital tongue? If not... then you might keep an eye out on Aryballe Technologies for an electronic taste detector, capable of digitizing tastants! The scope of the invention covers both sensory experiences.

Aryballe Technologies – NeOse Pro
Aryballe Technologies
CNRS - Centre National de Rercherche Scientifique 
CEA - Centre d'Energie Atomique 

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