Biomedical Microdevices

, Volume 12, Issue 1, pp 115-124

First online:

Droplet position control in digital microfluidic systems

  • Biddut BhattacharjeeAffiliated withSchool of Engineering, University of British Columbia Okanagan Email author 
  • , Homayoun NajjaranAffiliated withSchool of Engineering, University of British Columbia Okanagan

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Research on so called digital microfluidic systems (DMS) capable of manipulating individual microdroplets on a cell-based structure has enormously increased in the past few years, mainly due to the demand of the technology-dependent biomedical applications. Significant research in this area has been related to the simulation and modeling of droplet motion, demonstration of different drop actuation techniques on laboratory-scale prototypes, and droplet routing and scheduling for more efficient assay procedures. This paper introduces the basics of the control analysis and design of a DMS, which is a relatively unexplored area in digital microfluidics. This paper starts with a discussion on a simplified dynamic model of droplet motion in a planar array of cells, and continues with more complicated dynamic models that are necessary to realize the structure of an appropriate closed-loop control system for the DMS. The control analysis and design includes both the transient and steady-state responses of the DMS under external driving forces. The proposed control analysis and design approach is implemented into SIMULINK® models to demonstrate the performance of the DMS through simulation using the system parameters previously reported in the literature.


Digital microfluidics Droplet Feedback control