Software for Automated Microfluidic Chip Design

Tech ID: 30591 / UC Case 2016-189-0


Microfluidics devices for biological research and clinical applications allow for the manipulation and analysis of biological samples and use low amounts of sample and reagent.  The ability to use less sample and reagent lowers laboratory and clinical costs.  In addition microfluidic devices allow for the automation of a variety of manual tasks in the lab or clinic.

One building block of the microfluidic chip is the integrated microvalve.  Microvalves can  be  combined  to form   components, and fully functional  integrated  biochips  can  then  be  designed  as  a collection of interconnected  components.  At present,  this design  process  is  carried  out  by  hand  using  software (e.g., AutoCAD) which is tedious, time-consuming, and  prone  to error.

Brief Description

Professor Brisk’s research group at the University of California, Riverside, has developed software to design and analyze an entire microfluidic chip. This is done using Microfluidic Design Automation (MDA) software to synthesize and physically lay out the devices.This software uses Microfluidic  Design  Automation (MDA) to  physically  render chips.  This  approach  is  similar  to  Electronic  Design Automation (EDA) in the semiconductor industry. The  software  automatically creates a chip architecture that is converted to MHDL, a  human-readable microfluidic hardware design language, enabling manual refinement. When  the  chip  designer  is  satisfied  with  the  architecture,  the software  physically  lays  out  the  different  layers  of  the  chip. The  output  is  an  AutoCAD  DXF  (or  other  vector  graphics) file that can be transferred to a foundry for fabrication.


Fig. 1 shows a microfluidic device layout designed and laid-out by the UCR software.



  • Allows for the quick and efficient design of microfluidic devices.

Patent Status

Country Type Number Dated Case
United States Of America Issued Patent 10,360,336 07/23/2019 2016-189

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Other Information


microfluidics, routing algorithm, planar placement, lab-on-a-chip, LoC, chip design

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