It is highly desirable to obtain functional cells with specific olfactory receptors (ORs) for the development of cell-based biosensors towards odorant detection. In this study, we explored the feasibility of bioengineered primary olfactory sensory neurons (OSNs) as sensing elements of biomimetic olfactory-based biosensors, in which light addressable potentiometric sensor (LAPS) was used to monitor bioengineered OSNs membrane potential responses to odorant molecules. An olfactory receptor of C. elegances, ODR-10, as a model receptor, was expressed on the plasma membrane of OSNs by transient transfection. The response profile of bioengineered OSNs to odorant molecules was investigated by analyzing extracellular potential firings features in frequency and time domains. The results indicated that bioengineered OSNs can specifically respond to diacetyl, the natural ligand of ODR-10. In addition, bioengineered OSNs showed different temporal firing patterns in responding to different concentrations of diacetyl. All the results demonstrate that bioengineered OSNs are useful and promising to serve as novel sensing elements of biosensors for specific odorant molecule detection. It is suggested that bioengineering techniques could provide novel approaches for preparing sensitive elements as well as promoting the development of practical applicable olfactory-based biosensors.
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