New approach for screening toxic chemicals mimics mammal senses

Schematic representation of sensing systems: (a) human olfactory system, (b) electronic analogue and (c) our optical analogue. Credit: (adapted) with permission from (E. Moczko, I. V. Meglinski, C. Bessant and S. A. Piletsky.Anal.Chem. University of Leicester researchers have developed a new approach for analysing toxic chemicals in complex samples that mimics the way mammals smell and taste. The technique could reduce the need for laboratory animals in biomedical research and other areas of chemical testing. In the study a fluorescent assay combines a mixture of environmental-sensitive fluorescent dyes and human skin cells that generate fluorescence spectra patterns distinctive for particular physiological conditions. Using multivariate data analysis, the optical signal is further processed, providing qualitative information and fast diagnostics. The study was originally inspired by the operating principle of the electronic…


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