Generation of mouse-based bioelectronic noses

Project: Research project

Project Details


The goal of the proposed project is to explore the use of a brain machine interface and genetic engineering to create mobile, highly sensitive animal-based chemical detectors that can be customized to detect a wide variety of chemicals under real-world conditions. The work proposed for performance in the Bozza lab at Northwestern University supports Specific Aims 2 and 3 as follows. The Bozza lab will… 1. develop methods for measuring behavioral response thresholds in mice to determine overall odor sensitivity (Specific Aim 2.2). We will set up behavioral rigs and odor delivery devices to test the sensitivity of mice to specific odor compounds. This advances the project by allowing us to ultimately compare behavioral sensitivity with electrophysiological sensitivity of our novel electrode array system. 2. generate transgenic mouse strains that show increased numbers of sensory neurons that express a specific receptor (TAAR4) for which we have known ligands (Specific Aim 3.1). This goal is based on the lab’s extensive experience working on olfactory receptors including TAARs and ORs. We will generate two strains of transgenic mice that overexpress a receptor that is known to affect overall behavioral sensitivity. This will advance the project by testing the idea that overexpression can be used to tune olfactory sensitivity to desired chemical ligands. Characterizing behavioral sensitivity in normal and transgenic mice will inform our strategy for creating highly sensitive biosensors for known ligands, and will lay the groundwork for studies to examine changes in odor detection thresholds at the behavioral level resulting from receptor overexpression.
Effective start/end date11/20/155/19/17


  • New York University, School of Medicine (15-A0-00-005162-01 // HR0011-16-2-000)
  • Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) (15-A0-00-005162-01 // HR0011-16-2-000)


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