Understanding how the brain and nervous system process olfactory stimuli requires very precise instrumentation. Odor stimuli are incredibly dynamic as their profile and composition can move and change very quickly. Aurora Scientific instrumentation has been used by multiple Nobel Laureates to sense and quantify olfactory stimulus dynamics with the highest temporal resolution available.
How the Nervous System Responds To and Processes Olfactory Stimuli
neural response, odor dynamics, temporal coding, olfactory receptor
200B – Characterizing Olfactometers
In 2011 Prof. Burton Slotnick approached us with a need to characterize an olfactometer of his design. Prof. Slotnick was a pioneer in olfactometer design for studying behavioral and neurobiological aspects of odor learning in rats and mice. The olfactometer described in his 1999 paper co-authored with Natalya Bodyak was the basis for the Knosys olfactometer, which he now wanted to characterize. For this work he required a gas sensor that could respond fast enough to measure the arrival time and concentration profile of his olfactometer. He also required software that could record the gas sensor signal and correlate these signals with the timing pulses generated by the olfactometer.
Aurora Scientific knew that the 200B miniPID could perform the characterization required but at the time software was not available. To solve this our R&D team wrote a LabVIEW program that collected and analysed data from a miniPID sensor. The software (210A: GasTrack) performed sensor calibration, data collection, background signal subtraction, conversion of sensor output to concentration, recording of timing signals and plotting of results.
A miniPID sensor and data acquisition system were provided to Prof. Slotnick, which he was able to use to measure the arrival time and concentration profile of the odor pulses produced by his olfactometer. The GasTrack software became commercially available to accompany the 200B miniPID gas sensor as a complete, easy-to-use data acquisition system.