Abstract Human beings and animals have sensitive olfactory systems that can sense and identify a variety of odors. The purpose of this study is to combine biological cells with micro-chips to establish a novel bioelectronic nose system for odor detection by electrophysiological sensing measurements of olfactory tissue. In our experiments, 36-channel microelectrode arrays (MEAs) with the diameter of 30 μm were fabricated on the glass substrate, and olfactory epithelium was stripped from rats and fixed on the surface of MEA. Electrophysiological activities of olfactory receptor neurons in intact epithelium were measured through the multi-channel recording system. The extracellular potentials of cell networks could be effectively analyzed by correlation analysis between different channels. After being stimulated by odorants, such as acetic acid and butanedione, the olfactory cells generate different firing modes. These firing characteristics can be derived by time-domain and frequency-domain analysis, and they were different from spontaneous potentials. The investigation of olfactory epithelium can provide more information of olfactory system for artificial olfaction biomimetic design.