Integrated Control-Fluidic Codesign Methodology for Paper-Based Digital Microfluidic Biochips

Qin Wang, Ulf Schlichtmann, Yici Cai, Weiqing Ji, Zeyan Li, Haena Cheong, Oh Sun Kwon, Hailong Yao, Tsung Yi Ho, Kwanwoo Shin, Bing Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Paper-based digital microfluidic biochips (P-DMFBs) have recently emerged as a promising low-cost and fast-responsive platform for biochemical assays. In P-DMFBs, electrodes and control lines are printed on a piece of photograph paper using an inkjet printer and carbon nanotubes (CNTs) conductive ink. Compared with traditional digital microfluidic biochips (DMFBs), P-DMFBs enjoy significant advantages, such as faster in-place fabrication with printer and ink, lower costs, and better disposability. Since electrodes and CNT control lines are printed on the same side of this paper, a critical design challenge for P-DMFB is to prevent control interference between moving droplets and the voltages on CNT control lines. Control interference may result in unexpected droplet movements and thus incorrect assay outputs. To address this design challenge, a control-fluidic codesign methodology is proposed in this paper, along with two demonstrative design flows integrating both fluidic design and control design, i.e., the droplet-oriented codesign flow and the electrode-oriented codesign flow. The droplet-oriented flow is suitable for designing biochips with sparse electrodes and relatively larger number of droplets, whereas the electrode-oriented flow is suitable for biochips with dense electrodes and smaller number of droplets. The computational simulation results of real-life bioassays demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed codesign flows.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8624454
Pages (from-to)613-625
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Transactions on Computer-Aided Design of Integrated Circuits and Systems
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2020


  • Codesign
  • control design
  • fluidic design
  • paper-based microfluidic biochips


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