Design Automation for Microfluidics

Front-End Research for Continous-Flow Microfluidics

Technological innovations in continuous-flow microfluidics require updated automated synthesis methods. As new microfluidic components and biochemical applications are constantly introduced, the current functionality-based application mapping methods and the fixed-time-slot scheduling methods are insufficient to overcome the new design challenges. Our group therefore has developed a series of front-end design automation methods for continuous-flow microfluidics, with a focus on introducing new components and application characteristics, to provide more practical and effective solutions to the front-end design problems.

In recent years, we also work on the synchronization with real-time systems. Studies have shown a need for an interactive firmware layer in microfluidic platforms that can collect data from on-chip sensors, make decisions based on the collected data, and appropriately allocate resources.

COLUMBA: Co-Layout Design Automation Tool for Microfluidic Large-Scale Integration

Current continuous-flow microfluidic large-scale integration (mLSI) is designed manually, which is time-consuming and error-prone. In recent years, design automation research for mLSI evolves rapidly, aiming to replace manual labor by computers. Our group has developed Columba, which takes plain-text netlist descriptions as inputs, and performs simultaneous placement and routing for multiple layers while ensuring the planarity of each layer. The outputs of Columba are AutoCAD-compatible designs that fulfill all designs rules and can be directly used for mask fabrication (an example of the designs fabricated from Columba outputs are shown on the right). Columba is the first large-scale design automation tool that can seamlessly synchronize with the manufacturing flow of mLSI.

Our future targets are to synchronize Columba with front-end design automation methods and with biochemical applications. We are seeking for collaborations with bioengineering and biochemical experts.

Synthesis and Testing for Homogeneous Microfluidic Large-Scale Integration

Recent advances in manufacturing technologies of continuous-flow microfluidic large-scale integration (mLSI) have enabled valve density to reach 1 million per cm2, and consequently mLSI within a homogeneous architecture (all channel walls and device walls are built by valves) has emerged to achieve higher flexibility and reconfigurability. By controlling the states of valves, channels, storages and mixers can be constructed and destructed dynamically during the assay process.

Our group has worked on developing synthesis and testing methods for homogeneous mLSI. For the synthesis part, our targets include the formation of the devices and the validation of the fluid routing. For the testing part, we focus on modeling representative manufacturing defects and developing efficient defect-screening techniques. We hope that our design automation solutions can facilitate the industrial adoption of homogeneous mLSI.

Publications

  • Li, Mengchu; Gu, Hanchen; Zhang, Yushen; Liang, Siyuan; Gasvoda, Hudson; Altay, Rana; Araci, Ismail; Tseng, Tsun-Ming; Ho, Tsung-Yi; Schlichtmann, Ulf: Late Breaking Results: Efficient Built-in Self-Test for Microfluidic Large-Scale Integration (mLSI). ACM/IEEE Design Automation Conference (DAC), 2024 more… BibTeX Full text (mediaTUM)
  • Liang, Siyuan; Zhang, Yushen; Altay, Rana; Gasvoda, Hudson; Li, Mengchu; Araci, Ismail Emre; Tseng, Tsun-Ming; Schlichtmann, Ulf; Ho, Tsung-Yi: LaMUX: Optimized Logic-Gate-Enabled High-Performance Microfluidic Multiplexer Design. ACM/IEEE Design Automation Conference (DAC), 2024 more… BibTeX Full text (mediaTUM)
  • Li, Mengchu; Zhang, Yushen; Lee, Ju Young; Gasvoda, Hudson; Araci, Ismail Emre; Tseng, Tsun-Ming; Schlichtmann, Ulf: Integrated Test Module Design for Microfluidic Large-Scale Integration. IEEE Transactions on Computer-Aided Design of Integrated Circuits and Systems (TCAD) 42 (6), 2023, 1939 - 1950 more… BibTeX Full text ( DOI ) Full text (mediaTUM)
  • Liang, Siyuan; Lian, Meng; Li, Mengchu; Tseng, Tsun-Ming; Schlichtmann, Ulf; Ho, Tsung-Yi: ARMM: Adaptive Reliability Quantification Model of Microfluidic Designs and Its Graph-Transformer-Based Implementation. IEEE/ACM International Conference on Computer-Aided Design (ICCAD), 2023 more… BibTeX Full text (mediaTUM)
  • Shen, Duan; Zhang, Yushen; Li, Mengchu; Tseng, Tsun-Ming; Schlichtmann, Ulf: Contamination-Free Switch Design and Synthesis for Microfluidic Large-Scale Integration. Design, Automation and Test in Europe (DATE), 2022 more… BibTeX Full text (mediaTUM)
  • Liang, Siyuan; Li, Mengchu; Tseng, Tsun-Ming; Schlichtmann, Ulf; Ho, Tsung-Yi: CoMUX: Combinatorial-Coding-Based High-Performance Microfluidic Control Multiplexer Design. IEEE/ACM International Conference on Computer-Aided Design (ICCAD), 2022 more… BibTeX Full text (mediaTUM)
  • Zuo, Fangda; Li, Mengchu; Tseng, Tsun-Ming; Ho, Tsung-Yi; Schlichtmann, Ulf: Relative-Scheduling-Based High-Level Synthesis for Flow-Based Microfluidic Biochips. IEEE/ACM International Conference on Computer-Aided Design (ICCAD), 2021 more… BibTeX Full text (mediaTUM)
  • Zhu, Ying; Huang, Xing; Li, Bing; Ho, Tsung-Yi; Wang, Qin; Yao, Hailong; Wille, Robert; Schlichtmann, Ulf: MultiControl: Advanced Control Logic Synthesis for Flow-Based Microfluidic Biochips. IEEE Transactions on Computer-Aided Design of Integrated Circuits and Systems 39 (10), 2020 more… BibTeX Full text ( DOI )
  • Liu, Chunfeng; Li, Bing; Bhattacharya, Bhargab B.; Chakrabarty, Krishnendu; Ho, Tsung-Yi; Schlichtmann, Ulf: Test Generation for Flow-Based Microfluidic Biochips with General Architectures. IEEE Transactions on Computer-Aided Design of Integrated Circuits and Systems 39 (10), 2020 more… BibTeX Full text ( DOI )
  • Li, Mengchu; Tseng, Tsun-Ming; Ma, Yanlu; Ho, Tsung-Yi; Schlichtmann, Ulf: VOM: Flow-Path Validation and Control-Sequence Optimization for Multilayered Continuous-Flow Microfluidic Biochips. IEEE/ACM International Conference on Computer-Aided Design (ICCAD), 2019 more… BibTeX Full text (mediaTUM)
  • Tseng, Tsun-Ming; Li, Mengchu; Zhang, Yushen; Ho, Tsung-Yi; Schlichtmann, Ulf: Cloud Columba: Accessible Design Automation Platform for Production and Inspiration. IEEE/ACM International Conference on Computer-Aided Design (ICCAD), 2019 more… BibTeX Full text (mediaTUM)
  • Liu, Chunfeng; Li, Bing; Ho, Tsung-Yi; Chakrabarty, Krishnendu; Schlichtmann, Ulf: Design-for-Testability for Continuous-Flow Microfluidic Biochips. ACM/IEEE Design Automation Conference (DAC), 2018 more… BibTeX
  • Zhu, Ying; Li, Bing; Ho, Tsung-Yi; Wang, Qin; Yao, Hailong; Wille, Robert; Schlichtmann, Ulf: Multi-Channel and Fault-Tolerant Control Multiplexing for Flow-Based Microfluidic Biochips. IEEE/ACM International Conference on Computer-Aided Design (ICCAD), 2018 more… BibTeX
  • Tseng, Tsun-Ming; Li, Mengchu; Freitas, Daniel Nestor; McAuley, Travis; Li, Bing; Ho, Tsung-Yi; Araci, Ismail Emre; Schlichtmann, Ulf: Columba 2.0: A Co-Layout Synthesis Tool for Continuous-Flow Microfluidic Biochips. IEEE Transactions on Computer-Aided Design of Integrated Circuits and Systems 37 (8), 2018, 1588-1601 more… BibTeX Full text ( DOI ) Full text (mediaTUM)
  • Tseng, Tsun-Ming; Li, Mengchu; Freitas, Daniel Nestor; Mongersun, Amy; Araci, Ismail Emre; Ho, Tsung-Yi; Schlichtmann, Ulf: Columba S: A Scalable Co-Layout Design Automation Tool for Microfluidic Large-Scale Integration. ACM/IEEE Design Automation Conference (DAC), 2018 more… BibTeX Full text (mediaTUM)
  • Li, Mengchu; Tseng, Tsun-Ming; Li, Bing; Ho, Tsung-Yi; Schlichtmann, Ulf: Component-Oriented High-Level Synthesis for Continuous-Flow Microfluidics Considering Hybrid-Scheduling. ACM/IEEE Design Automation Conference (DAC), 2017 more… BibTeX Full text (mediaTUM)
  • Liu, Chunfeng; Li, Bing; Yao, Hailong; Pop, Paul; Ho, Tsung-Yi; Schlichtmann, Ulf: Transport or Store? Synthesizing Flow-based Microfluidic Biochips using Distributed Channel Storage. ACM/IEEE Design Automation Conference (DAC), 2017 more… BibTeX
  • Li, Mengchu; Tseng, Tsun-Ming; Li, Bing; Ho, Tsung-Yi; Schlichtmann, Ulf: Sieve-valve-aware Synthesis of Flow-based Microfluidic Biochips Considering Specific Biological Execution Limitations. Design, Automation and Test in Europe (DATE), 2016 more… BibTeX Full text (mediaTUM)
  • Tseng, Tsun-Ming; Li, Mengchu; Li, Bing; Ho, Tsung-Yi; Schlichtmann, Ulf: Columba: Co-Layout Synthesis for Continuous-Flow Microfluidic Biochips. ACM/IEEE Design Automation Conference (DAC), 2016 more… BibTeX Full text (mediaTUM)
  • Tseng, Tsun-Ming; Li, Bing; Li, Mengchu; Ho, Tsung-Yi; Schlichtmann, Ulf: Reliability-aware Synthesis with Dynamic Device Mapping and Fluid Routing for Flow-based Microfluidic Biochips. IEEE Transactions on Computer-Aided Design of Integrated Circuits and Systems 35 (12), 2016, 1981-1994 more… BibTeX Full text ( DOI ) Full text (mediaTUM)
  • Tseng, Tsun-Ming; Li, Bing; Ho, Tsung-Yi; Schlichtmann, Ulf: Reliability-aware Synthesis for Flow-based Microfluidic Biochips by Dynamic-device Mapping. ACM/IEEE Design Automation Conference (DAC), 2015 more… BibTeX Full text (mediaTUM)
  • Tseng, Tsun-Ming; Li, Bing; Schlichtmann, Ulf; Ho, Tsung-Yi: Storage and Caching: Synthesis of Flow-based Microfluidic Biochips. IEEE Design and Test, 2015 more… BibTeX Full text ( DOI ) Full text (mediaTUM)