Using an array of insect antennae connected in series or in parallel, electroantennogram (EAG) responses and noise levels were investigated in an attempt to improve signal-to-noise (S/N) ratio and sensitivity. Both the EAG response amplitude and noise level increased when the antennae of male Helicoverpa zea (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) were connected in series. Due to lower relative increase in noise level than EAG amplitude as the number of antennae increased, the S/N ratio was also significantly improved by the serial connection. As a result the sensitivity of EAG was improved by the serial connection, which showed ca. ten-fold improvement in the threshold detection levels compared with a single antenna when four antennae were connected in series. In contrast to the serial connection, there were no differences in EAG amplitudes and overall noise levels when different numbers of antennae were connected in parallel. When only large-amplitude noise was taken into account, however, the S/N ratio was somewhat improved by the parallel connection. The frequency of overall noise remained at the same level both in the serial and in the parallel connection. However, the frequency of the large-amplitude noise increased in serial connection but decreased in parallel connection. The present study clearly indicates that both the sensitivity and S/N ratio of the EAG biosensor could be significantly improved by using the multiple antennal connections.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Insect Science