Human Olfaction

The human olfactory system is an evolutionary ancient and highly efficient sensory system. In contrast to the visual and auditory system, many basic rules guiding this sophisticated and complex sensory system remain obscure.

Sensor Technology

Our approach will enable new types of sensors, which can be helpful in the development of tools for an olfactory-based detection of illnesses in patients and may enhance the development of medical devices for the treatment of olfactory loss.

Digital Olfaction

An artificial nose must be able to include perception - the interpretation of sensation in the light of experience. Evolving current sensors towards the level of biological organisms is only possible in an interdisciplinary and coordinated effort.

About Perceptronics

Human olfaction is a very efficient sensory system, which has inspired the search for an electronic analog. Early on it was recognized that such an artificial nose requires the inclusion of perception – the interpretation of sensation in light of experience. This type of evaluation is achieved by using methods of machine learning and artificial intelligence. A breakthrough in perceptive electronics (short:perceptronics) can only happen in a concerted effort of science, engineering, and medicine that stringently builds on recent advances in each discipline.

The proposed research group will work in this spirit as an interdisciplinary team on topics of perceptronics for olfaction. The intended planning phase will be used to gather leading experts in the fields of (nano) sensorics, olfaction, perception, and machine-learning to facilitate cooperation and prepare a qualification program to bridge the different disciplines.

Perceptronics Team

Our research group is composed of leading experts from several disciplines, which provides unique opportunities to break new grounds in bridging the gap between natural sciences, engineering and life and health science

Prof. Gianaurelio Cuniberti

Project Coordination

Prof. Cuniberti has a longstanding expertise in material science and nanotechnology. He gave seminal contributions to the fields of molecular electronics, the development of novel sensors, and the computational modelling of nano-scale devices. He leads the Dresden Center for Computational Materials Science (DCMS).

Prof. Thomas Hummel

Project Coordination

Prof. Hummel is a leading expert in human olfaction. The "smell and taste center" headed by him is equipped with the necessary facilities and leading expert knowledge, to study olfactory perception in humans.

Prof. Ilona Croy

Olfactory Perception

Prof. Croy coordinates the pilot study of human perception (CROWN), which is conducted in cooperation with Prof. Hummel. In 2020, she was appointed as Chair of Clinical Psychology (W3) at the FSU Jena. Her recognized work focuses on how various sensory input is transferred from human sensation into perception.

Dr. Alexander Croy

Computational Modeling and Simulation

Dr. Croy's research mainly focuses on computational efforts, especially machine learning techniques and simulations for the development and description of nanomaterials. He recently became affiliated with the Chair of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, which is headed by Prof. Stefanie Gräfe, as Akademischer Rat ("assistant professor/lecturer").

Dr. Bergoi Ibarlucea

Nanosensoric Fabrication

Dr. Ibarlucea has been working in the group of Prof. Cuniberti since 2013. In 2019, he took over the leading position of the Nanobiosensors Group from Dr. Larysa Baraban. The group's research focuses on exploiting the high sensitivity of nanomaterials for the development of electrical and label free sensors in healthcare applications. Dr. Ibarlucea coordinates the activities of the pilot study to develop a proof of principle demonstrator for odor detecting sensors.

Dr. Shirong Huang

Nanosensoric Fabrication

M. Eng. Shirong Huang joined the chair of Prof. Cuniberti as a PhD student in October 2017. His research is focused on two-dimensional nanomaterials for novel sensor devices and biomedical applications. For the Olfactorial Perceptronics project, he is conducting a research on graphene-based sensors for odor detection as well as classification approaches to discriminate different odor stimuli. Those sensors have already successfully been used as a proof of principle demonstrator.

M.Sc. Antonie Bierling

Olfactory Perception

M. Sc. Antonie Bierling joined the team in June 2020. In addition to organiziation support, she was involved in writing the full proposal and conducts the pilot study of human olfactory perception (CROWN). For her dissertation, she is investigating the influence of molecular odor properties on perception and interpersonal factors that influence interindividual differences in odor perception.

Maria Rommel

Olfactory Perception

Maria Rommel joined the Perceptronics team in June 2021. She studies medicine at the Technische Universität Dresden and supports the project in the pilot study of olfactory perception. For her dissertation, she investigates the perception of odors in healthy participants and patients with olfactory disorders.

Tim Jesgarzewsky

Olfactory Perception

Tim Jesgarzewsky joined the Perceptronics project as a Ph.D. student in January 2023. He obtained his Master of Science degree from the Friedrich Schiller University of Jena in Cognitive Psychology and Neuroscience. For his dissertation thesis and within the Perceptronics project, his focus is on associating molecular properties with the psychological percept and physiological responses evoked by different odorants.

Alexandra Parichenko


Alexandra Parichenko joined the Perceptronics project as a Ph.D. student in October 2022. She studies nanomaterial-based biosensors for biomedical applications at the Technische Universität Dresden. Within the framework of her thesis, she will collect a database with e-nose signatures corresponding to different gas molecules and volatile organic compounds.

Eva Drnovšek

Olfactory Perception

Eva Drnovšek, MD, joined Perceptronics as a Ph.D. student in February 2023. She obtained her medical degree from University of Ljubljana, Slovenia, in 2022. During her studies, she published a few articles and wrote two (awarded) student research reports in fields of internal medicine and genetics. Her doctoral dissertation focuses on olfactory perception. A possible measure of olfactory perception is an olfactory perceptual fingerprint, which is defined using perceptual descriptor ratings for a set of odors. In her doctoral dissertation, she will examine how these fingerprints change in relation with olfactory function, causes of olfactory dysfunction and presence of olfactory distortions (such as parosmia and phantosmia).

Mariano Mastinu

Olfactory Perception

Dr. Mastinu joined Perceptronics as a Post-Doc in September 2022 after he obtained a Ph.D. in Neuroscience at the University of Cagliari, Italy. During his Ph.D. he spent one year at Rutgers University, USA. His research interest is mainly focused on olfactory perception and taste in humans, and their effect on health. He is also responsible for coordination of activities.

Florian Anders

Florian Anders


Florian Anders joined the Perceptronics project as Ph.D. student in May 2023. Before that he obtained his Master of Science degree in Computational Sciences with a focus on theoretical (bio-) chemistry from Freie Universität Berlin. Using machine learning and data science techniques, his focus within the Perceptronics project lies on the investigation of the connection between abstract odor- and physicochemical spaces of odor molecules. The goal is to create a systematic mapping between the chemical and physical properties of molecules (physicochemical space) and their perception (odor space), with the hope of being able to develop an odor prediction method based on this mapping.

M.Sc. Abdallh Herbawe


M.Sc. Abdallh Herbawe joined the chair of Prof. Cuniberti as a Ph.D. student in September 2023. His research is focused on developing gas nanosensors and testing their ability for odor detection as well as classification approaches to discriminate different odor stimuli.


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