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Taste differentiation through an electronic language

Grant number: 05/04344-0
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): February 01, 2006
Effective date (End): December 31, 2006
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Materials and Metallurgical Engineering - Nonmetallic Materials
Principal Investigator:Antonio Riul Júnior
Grantee:Cleber Aparecido Rocha Dantas
Host Institution: Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia (FCT). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Presidente Prudente. Presidente Prudente , SP, Brazil


The aim of this project is to check the threshold limit of the device at high and low molar concentrations, besides its ability to differentiate, for example, sweetness from glucose and sucrose at the same molar concentration. Ultra-thin films of different materials will be used as individual sensing units of the sensor, and their electrical differences will be favourably explored as a fingerprint of the samples analysed. Initially, the films will be made onto quartz plates to permit a better familiarization of the student with the techniques and equipments used. All films will be deposited onto gold interdigitated electrodes using the Langmuir-Blodgett and layer-by-layer techniques, and impedance measurements will be taken with the electrodes immersed in different liquid samples. Recent results indicate that this "electronic tongue" can distinguish tastes at least 3 orders of magnitude below the human threshold (10 mM for saltiness and sweetness), having also a sensitivity much lower than results published by other research groups in the literature. In addition, the presence of the thin films onto the interdigitated electrodes improves significantly the sensing ability of the device (results not yet published). The project was conceived within the project FAPESP Jovem Pesquisador 02/00792-0, under development at the Physics, Chemistry and Biology Department (UNESP – Presidente Prudente).

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