Optimal Strategies for Moving Droplets in Digital Microfluidic Systems
Karl F. Böhringer
In digital microfluidic systems, analyte droplets (typically «1µl)
are transported by electrowetting-on-insulator (EWOD) via an array of electrodes.
While recent work has demonstrated mostly single droplets on small arrays,
future commercial systems may simultaneously move many droplets on large
arrays. This work introduces a broadly applicable approach to optimally
control digital microfluidic systems; i.e., we present software that generates
a sequence of control signals for moving one or many droplets from start
to goal positions in the shortest number of steps, subject to constraints
such as minimum separation between droplets, obstacles on the array surface,
and limitations in the control circuitry.
| Figure 1: Two droplets moving simultaneously
on a 6×6 array while avoiding an obstacle (black cells). The two droplets
start at cells (5,2) and (4,5), and require 8 steps to trade places.
The software can be downloaded here.
Use of this software is permitted as long as
- it is used for academic research only
- the author is acknowledged in all resulting work
- modifications and extensions are made available to the author.
Caveat: this is work in progress and the sortware is currently neither
implemented nor documented well!
- Karl F. Böhringer, "Towards Optimal Strategies for Moving
Droplets in Digital Microfluidic Systems." IEEE International
Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), New Orleans, April
26 - May 1, 2004. Paper.
- Karl F. Böhringer, "Optimal Strategies for Moving Droplets in
Digital Microfluidic Systems." Seventh International Conference on
Miniaturized Chemical and Biochemical Analysis Systems (MicroTAS'03),
Squaw Valley, CA, October 5-9, 2003. Paper.
A complete list of our publications
(many of them available online) can be found here.
- National Science Foundation award CCR-0342632.
© Karl F. Böhringer, Department of Electrical Engineering, Box
352500, Seattle, WA 98195-2500, USA