A software-programmable microfluidic device for automated biology
Specific-purpose microfluidic devices have had considerable impact on the biological and chemical sciences, yet their use has largely remained limited to specialized laboratories. Here we present a general-purpose software-programmable microfluidic device which is capable of performing a multitude of low- and high-level functions without requiring any hardware modifications. To demonstrate the applicability and modularity of the device we implemented a variety of applications such as a microfluidic display, fluid metering and active mixing, surface immunoassays, and cell culture. We believe that analogously to personal computers, programmable, general-purpose devices will increase the accessibility and advance the pervasiveness of microfluidic technology.