Electrical & Computer Engineering     |     Carnegie Mellon

Wednesday, December 15, 12:00-1:00 p.m. HH-1112


Anton Pfeiffer
Carnegie Mellon University


Automatic Design of Multiplexed Biofluidic Microchips


Microchips represent a highly effective platform for the fabrication of microscale chemical sensors and analytical devices. These devices commonly fall into a category known as Lab-on-a-Chip (LoC). A LoC is essentially a miniaturized, integrated version of a macroscale analytical chemistry laboratory constructed in a microchip structure. These systems have the potential to be efficient, automatable, and inexpensive to fabricate. They are currently used within the life-science and biomedical industries for applications in genomics, proteomics and combinatorial chemistry. The goal of LoC design is to create a device that is capable of performing complex chemical operations entirely on-chip. However, meeting this design goal requires the use of complex physical models and is complicated by difficult layout and integration issues.

We have developed a design approach for the synthesis of LoC devices that is based on rigorous optimal design techniques and System-on-a-Chip (SoC) circuit design methods. We simultaneously consider on-chip physical phenomena and the physical design and layout aspects of the problem. We demonstrate our approach by designing multiplexed capillary electrophoresis separation systems. We will discuss how our approach can be extended to design LoC's that integrate mixing, reaction and injection. Finally we will briefly mention our current work toward leveraging a distributed computing approach toward this problem.


Anton Pfeiffer received a Bachelors of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of South Florida in 2001. He is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering at CMU and is advised by Professor Steinar Hauan. He is a member of the SYNBIOSYS group within the MEMS laboratory under the direction of Tamal Mukherjee. His research interests include design optimization, process and product synthesis.