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Taste sensing systems (electronic tongues) for pharmaceutical applications

1.  Introduction

Taste  sensing  systems  are  analytical  sensor  array  systems  which are  able  to  detect  specific  substances  by  means  of  different  artificial membranes  and  electrochemical  techniques.


2. Electronic tongues –  types  and  setup

2.1. Main principle and general setup

The  main  elements  of  an  electronic  taste  sensing  system  are  a different  number  of  various  sensor  types  which  can  be  attached  to a robot arm, a sample table, an amplifier and a computer system for data recording.

2.2.  Insent  taste  sensing  system
The  Insent  taste  sensing  system  (Fig.  4a)  is  a  potentiometric  mul-tichannel taste sensor developed over a couple of years by scientists at  Kuyushu  University  in  Japan  and  is  now  distributed  by  Intelligent Sensor  Technology  (Insent)  Inc.  (Atsugi-shi,  Japan).  Kobayashi  et  al.(2010) describe the used sensors, the principles of
measurement,the  design  of  the  taste  sensor  as  well  as  the  whole  development of  this  electronic  tongue  in  a  recent  review.  It  summarizes  about 34  research  papers  which  were  published  by  the  working  group
of  Toko  (Information  science  and  electrical  engineering,  Kyushu University,  Japan)  in  the  years  1980–2008  showing  the  continuousdevelopment of this electronic tongue.

2.3. ˛Astree electronic tongue


3. Discussion and future trends

With  respect  to  the  application  of  electronic  tongues  in  terms of  formulation  development  and  comparison  to  competitors,  most investigations  are  reported  dealing  with  the  Astree  electronic tongue.  These  investigations  were  mostly  performed  within  the past 5 years. In contrast, analytical investigations, variations of
sensors and the evaluation of rather simple systems havebeendescribed more extensively by use of the Insent taste
sensing system covering the past 10 years. The reason for this is that the Insent taste  sensing  systems  were developed  based  on  research  at  a  university  whereas  the  Astree  system  was  directly  marketed  by its
developing  company.  Therefore  experiences  with  variations  of  sensor membrane composition, an ncreased or decreased sensitivityto  substances  and  approaches  for  better  understanding  mecha-nisms of detection by the sensors are only described for the Insent system.  Further,  types  of  taste  sensing  systems  change  over  the years  showing  the  ongoing  development.  In  contrast,  published research  for  the  Astree  electronic  tongue  is  just  showing  examples of  pharmaceutical  applications  with  one  system.  Due  to  development over the years, types and number of sensors used for the different  studies  with  the  Insent  taste  sensing  system  are  different. Only  one  study  shows  the  application  of  the  eight  commercially available  sensors  (Woertz  et  al.,  2010b),  although  not  all  of  themwere included in multivariate data analysis. Therefore other investigations  described  here might  need  to  be  verified  by  using  the actual  commercially  available  sensors.

References

Abdullah, M.Z., Rahman, A.S.A., Shakaff, A.Y.M., Noor, A.M., 2004. Discriminationand classification of eurycoma longifolia jack in medicinal foods by meansof a DSP-based electronic taste sensor. Trans. Inst. Meas. Control. 26, 19–39.

AlphaMOS,  2004.  Technical  Note  T-SAS-04.

Ciosek,  P.,  Wróblewski,  W.,  2007.  Sensor  arrays  for  liquid  sensing  –  electronic  tongue systems.  Analyst  132,  963–978.

Escuder-Gilabert, L., Peris, M., 2010. Review: highlights in recent applications of electronic  tongues  in  food  analysis.  Anal.  Chim.  Acta  665,  15–25.