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Decoding the sense of smell




Professor Hanns Hatt, head of chair of cell physiology at the Ruhr University Bochum

 



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„Vom Riechrezeptor zum Biosensor“, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Lehrstuhl für Zellphysiologie, Bochum, Germany

 

Professor Hanns Hatt, head of chair of cell physiology at the Ruhr University Bochum, had the goal to decode the functions of the smelling receptors. At the end of this research project diagnosis and therapy methods will be created which take advantage of and change these natural functions. “The fact that also skin cells, cancer cells, kidney and sperms cells have olfactory receptors give us means to control them” explains Hatt. Sperm cells can, for example, lose the stimulus to dock to the ovum with the help of a blocking scent, which marks the starting point for a non-hormonal contraceptive. The reactions of tumor cells to certain olfactory stimuli could be used to prevent them from spreading. The decoding of the process of smelling thus provides an approach for new products, made by humans for humans. An example of such a product, though not from the field of life sciences, is a new kind of door lock: It can recognise the right resident by the body scent and is thus characterised by special chemo-sensors for a human being’s individual scent.

 

Professor Peter Zec, president of the Design Zentrum Nordrhein Westfalen and president-elect of the international umbrella organisation of design ICSID, was thrilled with the genetic findings’ enormous potential: “The really impressive aspect of this concept is that the basis for completely new products is created with the help of fundamental research. The research contains enormous innovative potential and several possible applications in the field of product development and design.”

Overview of concepts:

 

Decoding the sense of smell

„Vom Riechrezeptor zum Biosensor“, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Lehrstuhl für Zellphysiologie, Bochum, Germany

 

Neck vertebrae fixation without screws

„Crano - eine Cervikalorthese“, Julia Hanisch and Timo Wurz, Hochschule für Gestaltung in Schwäbisch Gmünd, Germany

 

Operating brains quickly

„LAXAR OP-System“, Andrea Feuerabend and Friedemann Schreiber, Hochschule für Gestaltung Schwäbisch Gmünd, Germany

 

Natural contraception via skin reading

„ovu`love“, Wilddesign, Gelsenkirchen, Germany, and GEO-Design, Tokyo, Japan

 

Making cartilage grow and sponges disappear

„Innovatives 3D-Design von Biomaterialien für die Regenerative Medizin“, Matricel, Herzogenrath, Germany

 

Testing babies’ hearing

„OtoRead”, DESIGN/NORD, Denmark, and Interacoustics A/S, Denmark

 

Increased sensation with the lower leg prosthesis

„Otto Bock Harmony System“, Otto Bock Healthcare GmbH, Duderstadt, Germany

 

Memory aid for dementia sufferers

„Senso. My Personal Lifebook“, Pelin Celik and Pilotfish GmbH, Munich, Germany

 

Greater quality of life for pain patients

„Lockout System”, Ing. Erich Pfeiffer GmbH, Radolfzell, Germany, and item design & development, Ascheberg, Germany

 

Surgeons in cyberspace

„Sphere – ein OP Szenario“, piu products, Essen, Germany

 

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