Western Michigan ACS

Neckers Lecture Public Talk: Prof. Eric Anslyn

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Thursday April 5, 2018 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM
Graves Hall, 112 Winants Auditorium and Gallery, Hope College  (map)

Title: Mimicking the Senses of Taste and Smell

Abstract: The senses of taste and smell operate via a series of cross-reactive protein-based receptors that are non-selective, but create patterns that discriminate solution and vapor composition, respectively. The basic principles of how these mammalian senses operate, with simple examples, will be followed with an analysis of how organic chemistry can be used to mimic these senses. Analytes in beverages, chiral mixtures, and blood/saliva have been targeted. The receptors derive from a combination of rational chemical design and modeling, with combinatorial synthesis techniques. It will be shown that a union of designed receptors targeted to a class of analytes, with combinatorial methods, gives fingerprints that differentiate between the individual members of the class. The fingerprints of the solutions are created using artificial neural networks, principle component analysis, and/or linear discriminate analysis. The technique represents a marriage of supramolecular chemistry and pattern recognition protocols, resulting in a versatile artificial method that acts analogously to the mechanisms of taste and smell.

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