Optical Methods in Studies of Olfactory System



The olfactory receptor (OR) comprises the largest multi-gene G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) family by playing a critical role in recognizing thousands of odorant molecules. Odorant-OR pairs have been characterized using various functional assays, and have provided an understanding of molecular basis in olfaction as well as characterizing specificity between agonist and antagonist. This chapter introduces the most commonly employed, labeled or label-free optical techniques employed to identify the odorant-OR pairs on a cellular and molecular level, and reviews recent developments in odorant binding assays to ORs with optical methods such as Ca2+ imaging, reporter-gene technology, surface plasmon resonance (SPR) and so on. For OR and GPCR study, a set of optical technologies including—but not limited to—Raman spectroscopy, photonic crystal, and total internal reflection (TIR) are also discussed in an analytical science point of view.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departments of Bioengineering, Berkeley Sensor & Actuator CenterUniversity of CaliforniaBerkeleyUSA
  2. 2.Departments of Bioengineering, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Biophysics Program, Berkeley Sensor & Actuator CenterUniversity of CaliforniaBerkeleyUSA

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