The ROSE Project Kicks Off
Seven partners join forces to develop technologies to support people who have lost their sense of smell
The ROSE project, with more than €3 million in European Union funds under the H2020 Pathfinder Pilot programme, has begun. The goal of the project is to support people who have lost their sense of smell.
It is estimated that the partial or total loss of smell (hyposmia/anosmia) affects about 20% of the world’s population, with negative effects on quality of life, a problem that has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, half of people affected by COVID-19 have experienced some form of loss of smell, which sometimes persists even after recovery from the disease.
In contrast to other sensory systems, there is currently no advanced technology that can partially or totally restore the sense of smell. The ROSE project will combine nanotechnology, microtechnology, biotechnology, mechanical design, neurosurgery, olfactory exams, neuroscience, and cognitive psychology, with the overall objective of verifying the feasibility of a miniature olfactory prosthesis that combines odour microsensors and neural stimulators. This solution will be evaluated in patients who have trouble smelling.
Seven European partners will collaborate in the project, with coordination by the French CNRS, and specifically the Lyon Neuroscience Research Center. In particular, the role played by the Politecnico di Milano will be to develop a method to acquire and model patients’ nasal cavities in order to design custom miniature olfactory receptors and to design, simulate, produce, and test prototypes of such receptors using 3D printing technologies.
The representatives for the Politecnico are Marina Carulli and Monica Bordegoni in the Department of Mechanical Engineering.