A reconfigurable continuous-flow fluidic routing fabric using a modular, scalable primitive†
Microfluidic devices, by definition, are required to move liquids from one physical location to another. Given a finite and frequently fixed set of physical channels to route fluids, a primitive design element that allows reconfigurable routing of that fluid from any of n input ports to any n output ports will dramatically change the paradigms by which these chips are designed and applied. Furthermore, if these elements are “regular” regarding their design, the programming and fabrication of these elements becomes scalable. This paper presents such a design element called a transposer. We illustrate the design, fabrication and operation of a single transposer. We then scale this design to create a programmable fabric towards a general-purpose, reconfigurable microfluidic platform analogous to the Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) found in digital electronics.