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Harnessing insects’ powerful sense of smell

Dr Andrew Kralicek, Founder and Chief Technology Officer of Scentian Bio and former Team Leader of the Molecular Sensing Team at Plant & Food Research, has spent the last decade working out how to harness insects’ outstanding sense of smell to revolutionise the world of electronic sensors.

This technological breakthrough led to the development of a proof of principle prototype showing that insect smell receptors can be used for the detection of miniscule amounts of volatile compounds.

“All living things produce volatile organic compounds. These biochemical signals are a way to describe the nature and state of the world within and around us. For example, the quality of the food you eat, the water you drink, the air you breathe, and the state of your health.” – Scentian Bio

Harnessing the smell receptors from insects has enabled the team to deliver a sensor technology that can potentially be used in commercial applications from human health, pest and disease detection, food quality and defence technologies.

Attend this free in-person event to hear how Dr Andrew Kralicek and his team harnessed nature for commercial sensing applications.



May 21
4:30 pm - 7:30 pm
Event Category:


University of Auckland
SBS Reception Lounge, 3a Symonds St, Thomas Building