2009 Volume 129 Issue 5 Pages 154-160
A taste sensor is composed of several kinds of lipid/polymer membranes as transducers which convert taste information to electric signal. Thus, the role of membranes is very important to detect various taste components. In this paper, we developed novel membranes which specifically respond to quinine that is typical bitter substances. These membranes were composed of hydrophobic ionic liquid such as N, N, N-trimethyl-N-propylammonium bis(trifluoromethansulfonyl)imide, 1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium hexafluorophosphate and 1-butylpyridinium hexafluorophosphate, a plasticizer, 2-nitrophenyl octyl ether and a polymer, polyvinyl chloride. In addition to quinine, they also showed response to both several kinds of alkaloids such as caffeine and strychnine, and non-alkaloid such as phenylthiocarbamide. The order of these responses was equal to that of the tongue glossopharyngeal nerve of flog. Furthermore, there were the other alkaloids which response to these membranes. Especially in these alkaloids, they showed high response to denatonium benzoate and berberin chloride which have a strong bitter taste.