Nat Commun. 2023 Feb 14;14(1):821. doi: 10.1038/s41467-023-36480-6.
The human olfactory system comprises olfactory receptor neurons, projection neurons, and interneurons that perform remarkably sophisticated functions, including sensing, filtration, memorization, and forgetting of chemical stimuli for perception. Developing an artificial olfactory system that can mimic these functions has proved to be challenging. Herein, inspired by the neuronal network inside the glomerulus of the olfactory bulb, we present an artificial chemosensory neuronal synapse that can sense chemical stimuli and mimic the functions of excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmitter release in the synapses between olfactory receptor neurons, projection neurons, and interneurons. The proposed device is based on a flexible organic electrochemical transistor gated by the potential generated by the interaction of gas molecules with ions in a chemoreceptive ionogel. The combined use of a chemoreceptive ionogel and an organic semiconductor channel allows for a long retentive memory in response to chemical stimuli. Long-term memorization of the excitatory chemical stimulus can be also erased by applying an inhibitory electrical stimulus due to ion dynamics in the chemoresponsive ionogel gate electrolyte. Applying a simple device design, we were able to mimic the excitatory and inhibitory synaptic functions of chemical synapses in the olfactory system, which can further advance the development of artificial neuronal systems for biomimetic chemosensory applications.
PMID:36788242 | PMC:PMC9929093 | DOI:10.1038/s41467-023-36480-6