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Journal of Sensors
Volume 2010, Article ID 326365, 5 pages
Research Article

Low-Cost QCM Sensor System for Screening Semen Samples

School of Science and Technology, Nottingham Trent University, Clifton Lane, Nottingham NG11 8NS, UK

Received 8 September 2010; Revised 28 October 2010; Accepted 23 November 2010

Academic Editor: S. C. Mukhopadhyay

Copyright © 2010 Michael I. Newton et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Artificial insemination is a well-established part of modern agricultural practice. A viable semen sample is judged by the total number of spermatozoa (sperm) in the sample and the motility of the sperm. In this paper, we report the development of a reusable measurement cell and electronics for screening semen samples based on the Quartz Crystal Microbalance (QCM) and Universal Frequency to Digital Converter (UFDC-1) to produce a low-cost sensor system. After introducing the semen sample at one end of the measurement cell, sperm swim down a channel before causing a frequency change on the QCM. Data is presented that shows the different frequency changes using a commercial frequency counter caused by porcine semen samples, one two days old and one twenty one days old. Similar data is presented for a motile semen sample measurement using the low-cost UFDC-1.