Marco Mauro

Marco Mauro
Novaetech | NOVAETECH · R&D

M.Sci. Physics


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I am a physicist specialized in design and development of sensors based on Quartz Crystal Microbalance (QCM) and microcantilever technology. Co-founder of the openQCM project the open science hardware QCM I have a strong experience in hardware control, acquisition and signal processing in LabVIEW programming language. I have a solid background in theoretical physics and mathematics
Additional affiliations
July 2009 - present
  • Scientific Coordinator
  • Design and development of analysis system based on Micromechanical Sensors and QCM, with application in aerospace, biology and environment.
January 2008 - July 2009
  • Laboratory Manager
  • Responsible for laboratory-based tasks, including lab testing on magnetoelastic sensor. Development and integration of software/hardware in LabVIEW programming language


Publications (8)
Full-text available
Flow cytometry is to date the only commercially viable technique for sex preselection of mammalian spermatozoa, measuring the different DNA content in X- and Y-chromosome bearing spermatozoa. Here we present experimental evidence of a measurable difference between bovine spermatozoa bearing X- and Y-chromosomes based on their buoyant mass. Single c...
Full-text available
In this work is presented a microbalance for single microparticle sensing based on resonating AFM cantilever. The variation of the resonator eigenfrequency is related to the particle mass positioned at the free apex of the cantilever. An all-digital phase locked loop (PLL) control system is developed to detect the variations in cantilever eigenfreq...
Full-text available
We study the dynamical behavior of a lattice model of glass former on a random graph, where no corrections to the mean field description are expected. We find that the behavior of dynamical correlation functions and dynamical susceptibility are consistent with the quantitative predictions of the Mode Coupling Theory of the glass transition.
Full-text available
Water monitoring technologies are widely used for contaminant detection in a wide variety of water ecology applications such as water treatment plants and water distribution systems. A tremendous amount of research has been conducted over the past decades to develop robust and efficient techniques of contaminant detection with minimum operating cos...
Full-text available
A cost-effective immunosensor for the detection and isolation of dental pulp stemcells (DPSCs) based on a quartz crystal microbalance (QCM) has been developed. The recognition mechanism relies on anti-CD34 antibodies, DPSC-specificmonoclonal antibodies that are anchored on the surface of the quartz crystals. Due to its high specificity, real time d...
Full-text available
Malaysia have compared the resonance frequency measurements of quartz crystals using openQCM and impedance – network analyzer. The comparison show a good agreement between openQCM and the standard scientic instruments. After an email exchange between our team, talking about how to modify the original openQCM design for their specic applications, th...
Method and corresponding apparatus for characterizing animal spermatozoa, intended to distinguish and separate spermatozoa carrying the Y chromosome from those carrying the X chromosome, said method being based on the known phenotype differences between the two types of spermatozoa and said apparatus being based on the use of microcantilevers, comp...


Questions (2)
I try to switch the pin of a quartz crystal resonator XTAL1 and XTAL2 between an oscillator driver circuit and a scalar network analyzer circuit
The quartz crystal oscillator circuit is a Pierce oscillator based on the driver sn74lvc1gx04
The circuit design is the same reported in the datasheet and in the fihure attached (pierce oscillator)
The scalar network analyzer is the one developed and shared by Brett Killion on hackaday, network analyzer on an arduino shield which covers from 0-72MHz
The schematics file of the network in attach (ArduinoSpecAn)
I'd like to switch the quartz crystal pin between the Pierce oscillator circuit and scalar network analyzer one after the other. I've tried to use CD74HCT4053B High-Speed CMOS Logic Analog Multiplexers and Demultiplexers for switching the quartz crystal pin between the two electronic circuits. Each control of the mux select one of a pair of channel which is connected in a singlepole, double-throw configuration.
The pin configuration I have used is:
Q1 BN pin 15
Q2 CN pin 4
XTAL1 B0 pin 2
XTAL2 C0 pin 5
SMAJ2 B1 pin 1
SMAJ1 C1 pin 3
the switch controls are
oscillator > S0=S1=S2= LOW
network analyzer > S0=S1=S2= HIGH
Using this configuration the network analyzer still works but the Pierce oscillator does not work, that is the oscillator is not able to drive the quartz crystal in stable oscillation. I do not understand why it does not work, maybe I have used a wrong configuration or my idea is not so straightforward to implement.
thank you in advance for suggestions
I am developing openQCM, a low-cost quartz crystal microbalance for educational purposes. The main aim of my studies is to promoting QCM technology in high-school and undergraduate teaching laboratories. Based on your expertise in the field, can anyone suggest practical applications of QCM?


Cited By


Project (1)
During the last years Novaetech has been involved in the research and development of highly sensitive devices based on Quartz Crystal Microbalance technology. In 2014 Novaetech launched the openQCM project, the unique open source Quartz Crystal Microbalance, for scientific applications in biology, chemistry and material science, characterized by performances comparable to that of traditional scientific instruments. Despite openQCM is an open source system, it is a proper scientific device. It has proved to be a reliable and robust instrument, since after only one year since its launch on the market, openQCM is already used by worldwide leading research institutes, private companies and hundreds of scientists. Now we are developing a new openQCM instrument for monitoring quartz crystal microbalance frequency and dissipation. The new openQCM dissipation module measures the quality factor Q of the crystal resonance curve by using a scalar network analyzer. The entire project will be released as an open science hardware. For the first time the scientific community will be free to customize the original device to own specific application.