Odorant Biosensors for Detecting the Scent of Diseases

Volatile organic metabolites can be generated in many human samples through distinct metabolic pathways. Increasing research evidence indicates that patients’ bodies give off unique Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) in different stages of human diseases. Therefore, VOCs are considered as potential biomarkers for performing non-invasive and patient-friendly disease screening in the early stages.

This year, NYMU-Taipei iGEM team has taken tuberculosis disease and lung cancer as an example and created intracellularly expressed and surface-displayed odorant-binding proteins (mOR103-15) to detect and monitor the volatile biomarkers from the patients’ bodies. >> See details on the Protein Expression Page

We have immobilized expressed olfactory receptor proteins to paper device prototypes to detect heptanal which is a specific VOC from tuberculosis patients. >> See details on the Immobilization Page

Here, we provide an example to demonstrate the feasibility of using odorant biosensors to perform non-invasive early disease screening. >> See details on the Application Page

Our device prototypes with immobilized olfactory receptor proteins show specific bindings with heptanal. This method is also friendly to children/babies and severely ill patients.