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Performance Characterization of a Reconfigurable Planar-Array Digital Microfluidic System

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3 Author(s)

This paper describes a computational approach to designing a digital microfluidic system (DMFS) that can be rapidly reconfigured for new biochemical analyses. Such a “lab-on-a-chip” system for biochemical analysis, based on electrowetting or dielectrophoresis, must coordinate the motions of discrete droplets or biological cells using a planar array of electrodes. The authors have earlier introduced a layout-based system and demonstrated its flexibility through simulation, including the system's ability to perform multiple assays simultaneously. Since array-layout design and droplet-routing strategies are closely related in such a DMFS, their goal is to provide designers with algorithms that enable rapid simulation and control of these DMFS devices. In this paper, the effects of variations in the basic array-layout design, droplet-routing control algorithms, and droplet spacing on system performance are characterized. DMFS arrays with hardware limited row-column addressing are considered, and a polynomial-time algorithm for coordinating droplet movement under such hardware limitations is developed. To demonstrate the capabilities of our system, we describe example scenarios, including dilution control and minimalist layouts, in which our system can be successfully applied.

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Computer-Aided Design of Integrated Circuits and Systems, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:25 ,  Issue: 2 )