(142b) Software Tools for Simulating Large Scale Droplet Microfluidic Systems
Microfluidic systems have revolutionized conventional biochemical analysis. Droplet based microfluidic systems generally consists of femto to nano liter volume discrete phase in a continuous phase; these droplets act as reactors and carry out reactions at high throughput using small volumes of chemicals. Due to this control of chemicals in space and time, these systems find applications in various fields such as cancer diagnostics, combinatorial chemistry, drug discovery and etc. Current techniques in designing such devices involve trial and error procedure followed by a high cost fabrication and testing process. In this work, we propose a novel droplet simulation software that uses the basic properties of fluids to simulate the droplet dynamics in a user defined geometry of microfluidic channels. The simulation tool proposed in this work would reduce the trial-error process and the fabrication costs substantially. Further, the proposed software will aid the droplet microfluidic based industries in economically producing robust lab-on-chip devices. The methodology used to simulate large scale droplet microfluidic systems is presented. Additionally, integration of specialized modules for mixing, splitting and storing are discussed. The simulation software is validated with the experimental data available in literature. The simulation studies present a thorough understanding about the effect of chip architecture on the droplet traffic in the discrete microfluidic devices.