December 1, 2016

This report describes experiments that used an anatomically similar 3D-printed dog's nose to discover the external aerodynamics behind canine sniffing. Chemical sampling and detection experiments quantified two modes of operation with the artificial nose-active sniffing and continuous inspiration, and demonstrated an increase in odorant detection by a factor of up to 18 for active sniffing. A 16-fold improvement in detection was demonstrated with a commercially available explosives detector by applying this bio-inspired design principle and making the device "sniff" like a dog.

The report was authored by researchers from the Material Measurement Laboratory at the National Institute of Standards and Technology and from the Chemical, Microsystem, and Nanoscale Technologies Group at MIT Lincoln Laboratory.