KNOSYS Olfactometers for Rats and Mice

ANIMAL Behavior Studies: Olfaction

WE offer complete units and components for animal behavior studies using odor stimuli. The units incorporate the best features of those that have been widely used in studies of olfactory psychophysics and odor discrimination. They allow excellent control of odor quality, concentration, and stimulus onset and offset times, yet are simple to operate, maintain and clean. Simplicity and low cost are achieved by avoiding unnecessary over-design and expensive 'state of the art' controllers.

The USB Liquid Dilution Olfactometer

The odor generator is a multi-channel system, allowing control of up to 8 different odorants or vapor phase mixture of odorants.  This is the system used in more than 200 published reports.

Odorant materials are diluted to the desired concentration in an appropriate solvent and are held in glass or disposable odor saturator bottles.

The contents of each saturator bottle are isolated by separate normally closed pinch valves.  The use of pinch valves, disposable saturator bottles and connecting tubing essentially eliminates cross channel contamination.

Operation of the control valves is nearly silent and results in a bolus of odorized air being added to a clean air stream connected to the subject chamber.

Air flows are controlled by glass and Teflon needle valves and monitored by calibrated flowmeters.

The entire system can be easily washed in place with alcohol or other solvents.

Software provides programs for system calibration, initial training, and tests for odor detection and discrimination.  The software runs on any contemporary Windows platform.

The complete system contains all the components needed for behavioral studies using odor stimuli.

HUMAN Subject Studies: The Bushnell Olfactometer

The Bushnell olfactometer is a simple low cost unit specifically designed to deliver odors to the nose of human subjects.  Because of our unique design, the glass subject tube can be located 8 or more meters from the odor generator unit, thus making the system ideal for MRI and fMRI studies.

The odor generator contains 2 - 8 completely independent channels each of which consists of a 500 ml odor saturator bottle whose input and output are controlled by normally closed Teflon body solenoids.  The 8 mm diameter glass subject tube contains mini glass tubes, each connected to its respective odor saturator bottle by a small diameter flexible Teflon or Tygon tube.  A side arm on the subject tube connects to a vacuum line that is controlled by a normally open solenoid.  Upon activation of an odor channel, odor flows to the subject tube and is diverted into the exhaust line.  Terminating the exhaust flow (operation of the exhaust solenoid) results in odor flow to the subject.  This design completely eliminates cross channel contamination and, despite a long connecting line between the odor generator and the subject tube, allows odors to be delivered to the subject within milliseconds after closure of the exhaust line.  This computer-controlled system provides a highly effective and relatively inexpensive solution for delivering precisely defined odor stimuli to human subjects.


Simple modifications of the Bushnell type odor generator can be used to provide vapor stimuli for EOG and related neurophysiological studies.