Olfaction is still not well known in the scientific sphere. To understand what is at stake when a dog can smell a tumor, researchers in chemistry and biology intervene. Coming from ESCPI, Chimie Paris Tech and CNRS, they work on:
The detection of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) by gas chromatography
Tumor emits Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). To discriminate these characteristic VOCs among the others, a powerful material of analytical chemistry is required: gas chromatography. ESPCI researchers worked together with Isabelle Fromantin on this matter.
Exchanging with dog experts about the sniffing detection method
Fundamental research also interacts with dog experts’ method of dog training. To isolate the odor of tumor, researchers give advice to dog handlers to optimize the protocol.
Materials chemistry is also important for the choice of the compress. The compress should absorb the sweat and release odors to allow the sniffer dog detection. Researchers in chemistry proceed to analysis on the compress polymer to find the best material.
Veterinary and ethology research
KDOG enjoys the support of an ethologist and veterinary researcher from the French Veterinary National School of Alfort (ENVA). She studies dogs’ behaviors at work and benchmark their progression by video record. In parallel to the clinical study, a study in veterinary research is expected to be launched – subject to proper funding. The first objective is to set precise selection criteria to choose the dogs starting their education to cancer detection. The ethologist allows a better understanding of dogs’ reactions generally and monitors the use of recent and modern education methods (with the Clicker device for instance).