What if we could be more aware of the allergens and pollutants that are irritants for those who suffer from asthma or other lung conditions? This is where technology, such as an electronic nose, might help.
“An electronic nose is a device composed of an array of electronic chemical sensors and an appropriate pattern recognition system,” explained IEEE Member Yangong Zheng.
Electronic noses use sensors to identify a mixture of gases, also known as a breathprint. “The mixture of gases in air could react with the surfaces of the chemical sensors, causing a change in conductivity,” said Zheng. “The changes are then converted into electrical signals that create a specific response pattern for the mixture of gases.”
This technology has the ability to compare gases in the air to previously learned breathprints. Air pollution and pollen form different response patterns, so the nose will be able to identify the differences.
HOW DOES ELECTRONIC NOSE TECHNOLOGY WORK?
Electronic noses use chemical sensors to detect metal oxides or conducting polymers. Although the biological olfactory system is an inspiration for this type of technology, an electronic nose does not physically look like or depict a human nose.
“The electronic nose is a multisensory system employed in the analysis of a complex gas environment that transforms raw data into specific recognition patterns for qualitative or quantitative recognition through computational and statistical analysis,” said Zheng. “Therefore, the components of electronic noses typically combine a sampling system, a sensor array and a pattern classifier.”
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