Tutorial: Digital microfluidic biochips: Towards hardware/software co-design and cyber-physical system integration

Tsung-Yi Ho, Juinn-Dar Huang, Paul Pop

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference abstract in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


This tutorial will first provide an overview of typical bio-molecular applications (market drivers) such as immunoassays, DNA sequencing, clinical chemistry, etc. Next, microarrays and various microfluidic platforms will be discussed. The next part of the tutorial will focus on electro-wetting-based digital micro-fluidic biochips. The key idea here is to manipulate liquids as discrete droplets. A number of case studies based on representative assays and laboratory procedures will be interspersed in appropriate places throughout the tutorial. Basic concepts in micro-fabrication techniques will also be discussed. Attendees will next learn about CAD and reconfiguration aspects of digital microfluidic biochips. Synthesis tools will be described to map assay protocols from the lab bench to a droplet-based microfluidic platform and generate an optimized schedule of bioassay operations, the binding of assay operations to functional units, and the layout and droplet-flow paths for the biochip. The role of the digital microfluidic platform as a “programmable and reconfigurable processor” for biochemical applications will be highlighted. Cyber-physical integration using low-cost sensors and adaptive control, software will be highlighted. Cost-effective testing techniques will be described to detect faults after manufacture and during field operation. On-line and off-line reconfiguration techniques will be presented to easily bypass faults once they are detected. The problem of mapping a small number of chip pins to a large number of array electrodes will also be covered. With the availability of these tools, chip users and chip designers will be able to concentrate on the development and chip-level adaptation of nano-scale bioassays (higher productivity), leaving implementation details to CAD tools.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2013 IEEE 26th International SOC Conference (SOCC)
Publication date2013
ISBN (Print)978-1-4799-1166-0
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Event26th IEEE International System-on-Chip Conference (SOCC 2013) - Erlangen, Germany
Duration: 4 Sept 20136 Sept 2013


Conference26th IEEE International System-on-Chip Conference (SOCC 2013)
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