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Versatile mass and rheological sensing platform

Versatile mass and rheological sensing platform


The MARS project will develop a platform for measuring mass at microscale and rheological properties of Newtonian/ non-Newtonian fluids in real-time, with unprecedented resolution, accuracy and reliability. This will be achieved by exploiting some unique degrees of flexibility in the dynamical response of a self-excited micromechanical probe. Depending on the desired application, this platform can be either used as a continuous sensor, a threshold sensor or a stable reference. Measuring the mass of analytes with high accuracy and understanding the rheology of simple and complex fluids play a critical role in a wide variety of applications in the ever-growing smart sensor global market.
The success of the MARS project requires:
- Advanced modelling of the dynamical response of self-excited microresonators oscillating in Newtonian or non-Newtonian fluids while subject to mass changes;
- Design, development and optimisation of the new sensing platform;
- Real case experiments for mass sensing, to assess and showcase the capabilities of each sensing modality;
- Characterisation of the properties of weakly non-Newtonian viscoelastic fluids.
This platform addresses several of the main drawbacks of current techniques to measure mass or to characterise viscoelastic fluids and presents some unique features:
i) Self-sustained oscillations that keep track of any environmental changes affecting the mechanical probe, without requiring any external equipment;
ii) Possibility of controlling a variety of sensing modalities by introducing delay in the feedback loop with a phase-shifter circuit;
iii) Capability of sensing extremely small mass (potentially single molecules) and weakly non-Newtonian fluids.
The end technical result will be a proof-of-concept prototype to demonstrate the effectiveness of the technology, and its potential to engage with external partners for further development in the direction of a viable and revolutionary commercial product.
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Piazzale Aldo Moro 7
00185 Roma


Activity type

Higher or Secondary Education Establishments

EU Contribution

€ 171 473,28

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 842147


Grant agreement signed

  • Start date

    15 April 2020

  • End date

    14 April 2022

Funded under:


  • Overall budget:

    € 171 473,28

  • EU contribution

    € 171 473,28

Coordinated by: