Visible to the public CPS: Small: System support for generally programmable digital microfluidic biochip devices

Project Details
Lead PI:Philip Brisk
Performance Period:09/15/10 - 08/31/15
Institution(s):University of California at Riverside
Sponsor(s):National Science Foundation
Award Number:1035603
2610 Reads. Placed 28 out of 803 NSF CPS Projects based on total reads on all related artifacts.
Abstract: The objective of this research is to develop a prototype programmable microfluidic laboratory-on-chip that concurrently executes assays (chemical algorithms) in an on-line fashion. A chemist specifies an assay (chemical algorithm) using a text-based language. Assays arrive at the device in real-time and an operating system/virtual machine running on an attached microcontroller interprets them. The approach is to develop a software simulation infrastructure for the laboratory-on-chip and to build the operating system/virtual machine on top of it. The intellectual merit of this activity is due to the fact that no type of runtime support system has yet been proposed for microfluidic devices. The key challenges to be solved in this project include: deadlock-free deterministic and adaptive routing algorithms; real-time constraints for routing droplets in the system; routing wash droplets for decontamination; scheduling assay operations on the devices; congestion estimation; and fault diagnosis and recovery. In terms of broader impact, advances in laboratory-on-chip technology will improve public health worldwide and lead to significant advances in clinical diagnostics and medicine. Laboratory-on-chips are commercially available from established companies such as Agilent Technologies as well as startup companies such as Advanced Liquid Logic, Silicon Biosystems, and Ayanda Biosystems; thus, the economic impact of this research is tremendous. The University of California, Riverside is a Minority-Serving Institution. The PI is committed to the introduction of laboratory-on-chip technology in both undergraduate and graduate education and will make every possible effort to recruit underrepresented minorities (including women) at the graduate and undergraduate level to work on the project.