Advances in microfluidics have led to the emergence of biochip devices for automating laboratory procedures in biochemistry and molecular biology. These devices enable the precise control of nanoliter volumes of biochemical samples and reagents. As a result, non-traditional biomedical applications and markets (e.g., high-throughout DNA sequencing, portable and point-of-care clinical diagnostics, protein crystallization for drug discovery), and fundamentally new uses are opening up for ICs and systems.
However, continued growth depends on advances in design automation, automated testing, and error-recovery techniques. Design-automation tools are needed to ensure that biochips are as versatile as the macro-labs that they are intended to replace, and researchers can thereby envision an automated design flow for biochips, in the same way as design automation revolutionized IC design in the 80s and 90s. Advances in testing are needed for defect screening and quality assessment. Error recovery is needed to provide high confidence in the outcomes of biochemistry carried out on a chip.
This lecture will first provide an overview of market drivers such as immunoassays, DNA sequencing, clinical chemistry, etc., and electrowetting-based digital microfluidic biochips. The audience will next learn about design automation, design-for-testability, and reconfiguration aspects of 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. The speaker will describe testing techniques, as well as dynamic adaptation of bioassays through cyberphysical system integration and sensor-driven on-chip error recovery.
The following books and papers are recommended as advance reading:
Y. Luo, K. Chakrabarty and T.-Y. Ho, Hardware/Software Co-Design and Optimization for Cyberphysical Integration in Digital Microfluidic Biochips, Springer, 2014.
Y. Zhao and K. Chakrabarty, Design and Testing of Digital Microfluidic Biochips, Springer, 2013.
K. Hu, F. Yu, T.-Y. Ho and K. Chakrabarty, "Testing of flow-based microfluidic biochips: Fault modeling, test generation, and experimental demonstration", IEEE Transactions on Computer-Aided Design of Integrated Circuits and Systems, vol. 33, pp. 1463-1475, October 2014.
Y. Luo, K. Chakrabarty and T-Y. Ho, Error recovery in cyberphysical digital-microfluidic biochips, IEEE Transactions on Computer-Aided Design of Integrated Circuits and Systems, vol. 32, pp. 59-72, January 2013.
K. Hu. T. Anh-Dinh, T.-Y. Ho and K. Chakrabarty, Control-layer optimization for flow-based mVLSI microfluidic biochips", Proc. IEEE/ACM International Conference on Compilers, Architectures and Synthesis of Embedded Systems (CASES), 2014.