Molecularly Encapsulated Sol-Gel Training Aids – IP 1520

Biological detector animals, suchas canines, are valuable tools for the rapid, onsite detection of illicitmaterials; however, they require extensive training to ensure fielddeployability with high degree of reliability. A safe method of traininginvolves the uses of mimics, in which biological detector animals are presentedwith the active odors of volatile organic compounds that mimic the odors of thecontraband they are being trained on. Currently available training aidssuffer from very specific drawbacks, including short shelf life, fieldcontamination concerns, and limited dissipation manipulation capabilities. Researchers at FIU have developeda training aid that allows handlers to adjust the abundance of odors presentedto their animals, familiarizing themselves with their animal’s strengths andweaknesses. Dissipation rate can also be controlled through temperatureadjustments. Most importantly, the training aids have the unique ability of notdissipating any odors when frozen. This is particularly advantageous because itallows for preservation of the training materials when being shipped or stored. Anne Laure Schmitt Olivier 305-348-5948

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