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Design and optimization of a digital microfluidic biochip for protein crystallization

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3 Author(s)
Tao Xu ; Dept. of Electr. & Comput. Eng., Duke Univ., Durham, NC ; Chakrabarty, K. ; Pamula, V.K.

Proteins crystallization is a commonly used technique for protein analysis and subsequent drug design. It predicts the three-dimensional arrangement of the constituent amino acids, which in turn indicates the specific biological function of a protein. Protein crystallization experiments are typically carried out manually on multi-well plates in the laboratory. These experiments are slow, expensive, and error-prone. We present the design of a multi-well plate microfluidic biochip for protein crystallization; this biochip can transfer protein samples, prepare candidate solutions, and carry out crystallization automatically. To reduce the manufacturing cost of such devices, we present an efficient algorithm to generate a pin-assignment plan for the proposed design. The resulting biochip enables control of a large number of on-chip electrodes using only a small number of pins. Based on the pin-constrained chip design, we present an efficient shuttle-passenger-like droplet manipulation method to achieve high-throughput and defect-tolerant well loading.

Published in:

Computer-Aided Design, 2008. ICCAD 2008. IEEE/ACM International Conference on

Date of Conference:

10-13 Nov. 2008