No human would dare go nose-to-nose with a canine, a difference that has pushed researchers to create a sensor that is just as sensitive as a dog’s snout. A group has recently announced that, using graphene-based nanoscrolls, they were able to achieve that same level of sensitivity.
The reason for a dog’s super-sense of smell is the presence of millions of capillaries that line their nostrils. This structure inspired scientists to design a gas detector using nanosheets of graphene that emulate the wide surface area in a dog’s nose.
Though these nanoscrolls are effective, durable, and stable even at high temperatures, they’re also incredibly difficult to manufacture. The energy required and challenges in scaling the structures up made viability unlikely for the technology. That is until a research group of scientists attempted to modify the nanoscrolls with a polymer. The sensors they produced were just as sensitive, and the possibility for scaling up is far more likely.
These advancements may be the end of canine nose supremacy. Though the study has yet to move into the mass production phase, the scientists behind the research are confident it’s just a matter of time.