Functionalized nanofibers for collection, identification and long-term storage of odor traces

Registration number: VI20152018010
Provider: Ministry of the Interior of the Czech Republic
Solver: prof. Ing. Evžen Amler, CSc.
Start: 01.09. 2015
End: 31.12. 2018

We are creating a qualitatively new methodology for capturing and recognizing the molecular composition of a person's odor signature and preserving it in selected solvents based on soluble nanofibers. The new methodology will make it possible to increase the sensitivity, evidence and information content of the human scent trail.

The main goal of the project is to create a qualitatively new system for collecting odor traces and storing them in selected solvents based on soluble nanofibers. The created system will enable the ultrasensitive adhesion of odor molecules to a modified nanofibrous surface with the subsequent conversion of odor traces into a suitable form for storage, transport or possibly for further chemical analyzes leading to the digitization of the odor trace. These advanced chromatographic or spectroscopic methods will enable the creation of digital odor databases, thereby achieving unlimited long-term storage of information about odor traces at the time of their collection. The collection system will be created from polymer fibers produced using electrospinning. The method enables the simple and effective creation of a non-woven fabric with a large adsorption surface and high porosity, which can be modified to achieve optimal physico-chemical conditions.

In the synergistic research, which will test the capture of odor molecules using advanced methods of liquid and gas chromatography with mass detection, the search will be made for an optimal solvent or a set of solvents that will capture and preserve the maximum number of odor molecules in their original quantitative proportions. This new collection method will enable the effective and reproducible capture of a wide range of molecules that make up human odor and, thanks to the controlled solubility, will allow simple conversion of the molecules into a liquid state and their highly accurate analysis using analytical methods. This globally new approach will lead not only to an increase in sensitivity compared to existing techniques, not only to an increase in the information content of the scent trail, but also to increased reproducibility, evidence and the possibility of digital recording, which can significantly increase the confidence of the courts in these forensic findings. The focus of the project is in line with the main objective of the Program, among other things, within the framework of developing techniques and technologies for detecting and proving criminal offences.