Two American researchers want to give hope to all those who have lost their sense of smell, especially because of Covid-19. Purpose: to create an electronic nose.
According to the WHO, 10 to 20% of people who are victims of the Sars-CoV-2 virus develop a long form of Covid-19. They suffer from various more or less debilitating symptoms for months or even years. Loss of smell, or anosmia, is one of them. Some patients affected in 2020 have still not received an operative nose. Is the loss irreversible? Time will tell.
For these millions of unfortunate people, bereft of essential meaning, Richard Costanzo’s works provide a kind of perfume of hope. For four decades, the head of the Department of Physiology and Biophysics at the University of the Commonwealth of Virginia has been intent on treating all possible cases of anosmia. Covid-19 gave him a new reason to fight. For several years he has been working on a bionic process capable of completely bypassing the olfactory circuit. The ambition is huge because a human nose has 400 different types of smell sensors that are able to distinguish 1,000 billion smells.
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Together with his colleague Daniel Coelho, professor of otolaryngology, Richard Costanzo first worried about the choice of an odor sensor. They chose a technology using semiconductor materials developed by other research laboratories. There is still a long way to go, because the current prototypes do not recognize more than a few dozen smells.
The second phase […]
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