rose at alf1.ngate.uni-regensburg.de (Andreas Rose t3077) wrote:
>> I study the host-finding of a blood-sucking bug (Reduviidae - Triatominae).
> I want to collect odors from the headspace of a sleeping person and see
> whether these are attractive in a behavioral test.
My feeling is that it would be better to pass the headspace through
a series of traps (Tenax, charcoal, etc.) and then use thermal
desorption to separate them by gas chromatography or pass
them as a mixture into a testing chamber with the insects. If you do use GC, I
would recommend using cryofocusing at the head of the analytical
column in order to sharpen the peaks and increase both resolution
and sensitivity. Some fragrance work is done where chromatography is
used to separate the compounds in the headspace and as each elutes
from the instrument, it is "sniffed" at the instrument outlet.
I've also seen work published (some university in North Carolina I think)
where each of the analytes is passed over the antennae of an insect
and electrical response is measured when receptors are triggered
by the compound. You may be able to isolate which compounds in
the headspace are responsible for the attraction.