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A field-programmable pin-constrained digital microfluidic biochip

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As digital microfluidic biochips (DMFBs) have matured over the last decade, efforts have been made to 1.) reduce the cost, and 2.) produce general-purpose chips. While work done to generalize DMFBs typically depends on the flexibility of individually controlled electrodes, such devices have high wiring complexity, which requires costly multi-layer printed circuit boards (PCBs). In contrast, pin-constrained DMFBs reduce the wiring complexity, but reduce the flexibility of droplet coordination. We present a field-programmable pin-constrained DMFB that leverages the cost-savings of pin-constrained designs, but is general-purpose, rather than assay-specific. We show that with just a few more pins than the state-of-the-art pin-constrained designs, we can execute arbitrary assays almost as fast as the most recent general-purpose DMFB designs. Copyright © 2013 ACM.

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