Year/Course: 2010-2011, Lent 2011

Contact: Dr. Jenny Tillotson, Institute of Biotechnology, Dept Chemical Engineering & Biotechnology, University of Cambridge & Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London
Mentors: Rachel Jones, Instrata and Simon C R Lewis

Before coming to Cambridge, Dr. Tillotson worked as a designer, pioneering ideas in wearable and responsive perfumes. Starting from a design perspective, she has now worked with the technologists in Cambridge to develop a novel method of releasing perfumes and other vapours on demand.

This system can be made cheaply, and is very compact and lightweight. It can be powered by a standard battery and its overall size is limited only by the volume of the liquid reservoir required by the application.

Dr. Tillotson’s initial work has focused on the idea of clothing and jewellery which can release perfumes and other essential oils when they are needed. For example, a “de-stress” product might be able to release calming scents when the wearer shows signs of stress. However, the technology has a much wider application, and has the potential to release a wide range of substances into the air. Vapour delivery devices, powered by this technology, can be attached to a wide range of sensors, which can then use changes in the local environment to trigger release of the appropriate amount of vapour.

There are many products in everyday life which are delivered as vapours, from inhaled non-controlled treatments such as aromatherapy to insect repellants. All of these have the potential to be delivered using Dr. Tillotson’s new invention. The task for the i-Team will be to identify these and any other potential applications, and to recommend the areas with greatest short-term and long-term potential.

scent beetlescent whisper