Microfluidic Design Automation (MDA)
Miniaturized and low-cost microfluidic biochip are revolutionizing a diverse range of applications, e.g., air quality studies, point-of-care clinical diagnostics, drug discovery, and DNA sequencing. Yole development recently predicted a 28% Compound Annual Growth Rate for the microfluidic biochip (“lab-on-chip”) market during 2013-2018 and the market size for lab-on-chip alone (not including microarrays, biosensors, and microreactors) will grow swiftly from $1.4B in 2012 to $5.7B by 2018.
However, continued growth (and larger revenues resulting from technology adoption by pharmaceutical and healthcare companies) depends on advances in chip integration and design-automation tools. In particular, design-automation tools are needed to ensure that biochips are as versatile as the macro-labs that they are intended to replace. Furthermore, as more bioassays are executed concurrently on a biochip, system integration and design complexity are expected to increase dramatically. There is now a need to deliver the same level of computer-aided design (CAD) support to the biochip designer that the semiconductor industry today takes for granted. These CAD tools will allow designers and chip users to harness the new technology that is rapidly emerging for integrated biofluidics. This Focus Group will develop CAD tools for hardware/software co-design and cyberphysical system integration of microfluidic biochips. In addition, it will offer researchers at TUM a bridge between the electronic chip/system design industries on the one hand, and the biomedical and pharmaceutical industries on the other hand.