Microfluidics-based biochips are revolutionizing high-throughput sequencing, parallel immunoassays, blood chemistry for clinical diagnostics, DNA sequencing, and environmental sensing. The complexity of microfluidic devices, also referred to as lab-on-a-chip, is expected to become significant in the near future due to the need for multiple and concurrent biochemical assays on multifunctional and reconfigurable platforms. This paper provides an overview of droplet-based “digital” microfluidic biochips. It presents early work on top-down system-level computer-aided design (CAD) tools for the synthesis, testing and reconfiguration of microfluidic biochips. These CAD techniques allow the biochip to concentrate on the development of the nano- and micro-scale bioassays, leaving assay optimization and implementation details to design automation tools.

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