A Framework for Validation of Synthesized MicroElectrode Dot Array Actuations for Digital Microfluidic Biochips

Article Type

Research Article

Publication Title

ACM Transactions on Design Automation of Electronic Systems


Digital Microfluidics is an emerging technology for automating laboratory procedures in biochemistry. With more and more complex biochemical protocols getting mapped to biochip devices and microfluidics receiving a wide adoption, it is becoming indispensable to develop automated tools and synthesis platforms that can enable a smooth transformation from complex cumbersome benchtop laboratory procedures to biochip execution. Given an informal/semi-formal assay description and a target microfluidic grid architecture on which the assay has to be implemented, a synthesis tool typically translates the high-level assay operations to low-level actuation sequences that can drive the assay realization on the grid. With more and more complex biochemical assay protocols being taken up for synthesis and biochips supporting a wider variety of operations (e.g., MicroElectrode Dot Arrays (MEDAs)), the task of assay synthesis is getting intricately complex. Errors in the synthesized assay descriptions may have undesirable consequences in assay operations, leading to unacceptable outcomes after execution on the biochips. In this work, we focus on the challenge of examining the correctness of synthesized protocol descriptions, before they are taken up for realization on a microfluidic biochip. In particular, we take up a protocol description synthesized for a MEDA biochip and adopt a formal analysis method to derive correctness proofs or a violation thereof, pointing to the exact operation in the erroneous translation. We present experimental results on a few bioassay protocols and show the utility of our framework for verifiable protocol synthesis.



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