Digital Microfluidics: Connecting Biochemistry to Computer-Aided Design

  • Speaker:
    Prof. Krishnendu Chakrabarty

    Duke University, Durham, USA

  • Location:

    Room 062,  Building 20.20

  • Date: May 16th, 2007, 4:00pm

Digital microfluidics enables the precise control and manipulation of droplets of nanoliter volumes on miniaturized electronic platforms referred to as biochips. Digital microfluidic biochips are revolutionizing laboratory procedures for enzymatic analysis, DNA sequencing, proteomic analysis involving proteins and peptides, immunoassays, and environmental toxicity monitoring. Another emerging application area for microfluidic biochips is clinical diagnostics, especially the immediate point-of-care diagnosis of diseases.

This talk will first provide an overview of digital microfluidics, demonstrate basic microfluidic operations, and describe some prototype devices that have been fabricated. Next, the talk will describe early work on computer-aided design tools that allow the automated design of biochips from high-level protocol descriptions. These include synthesis tools that can map behavioral descriptions to a droplet-based microfluidic biochip 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. Cost-effective testing techniques will be presented to detect faults after manufacture and during field operation. It will be shown how on-line and off-line reconfiguration techniques can be used to easily bypass faults once they are detected. Thus the biochip user can concentrate on the development of the nano- and microscale bioassays, leaving implementation details to design automation tools.

Short bio:
Krishnendu Chakrabarty received the B. Tech. degree from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, in 1990, and the M.S.E. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, in 1992 and 1995, respectively, all in Computer Science and Engineering. He is now Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Duke University. Dr. Chakrabarty is a recipient of the National Science Foundation Early Faculty (CAREER) award, the Office of Naval Research Young Investigator award, the Humboldt Research Fellowship from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Germany, and several best papers awards at IEEE conferences. His current research projects include: testing of system-on-chip integrated circuits; microfluidic biochips; microfluidics-based chip cooling; wireless sensor networks. He has co-authored seven books on these topics, and published over 240 papers in journals and refereed conference proceedings.

Prof. Chakrabarty is a Distinguished Visitor of the IEEE Computer Society for 2006-2007 and a Distinguished Lecturer of the IEEE Circuits and Systems Society for 2006-2007. He is an Associate Editor of IEEE Transactions on Computer-Aided Design of Integrated Circuits and Systems, IEEE Transactions on VLSI Systems, IEEE Transactions on Circuits and System I, IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Circuits and Systems, and ACM Journal on Emerging Technologies in Computing Systems. He is an Editor of IEEE Design & Test of Computers and of the Journal of Electronic Testing: Theory and Applications (JETTA). Prof. Chakrabarty is a senior member of IEEE, a senior member of ACM, and a member of Sigma Xi.