(164d) Rational Approach for Designing Generic Droplet Based Systems Using Optimization Techniques

Authors: 
Maddala, J., SYSENG, LLC
Rengaswamy, R., Texas Tech University

Droplet based microfluidic systems find applications in various areas, such as point of care diagnostics, drug discovery, development of organs on chip and so on. One of the primary challenges in designing droplet microfluidic systems is the lack of robust simulation and design algorithms. Microfluidic systems have complexities similar to pipeline networks. Droplet based microfluidic systems have additional difficulties due to droplet decisions at fluidic network junctions, making these systems challenging for computer aided rational design.

In the area of drug discovery, the current method for combinatorial drug screening of materials is to use robotic arm and well plates. The use of droplet microfluidic devices makes this process cheaper and faster. The formulation of an optimization problem to achieve a droplet microfluidic platform design for combinatorial sequencing of chemicals is proposed in this work.The optimization formulation results  in a mixed integer nonlinear programming problem and is solved using mathematical programming and genetic algorithm approaches.  The objective function is formulated in a manner that the final designs are robust to fabrication uncertainties. The results obtained by these methods demonstrate that it is  possible to rationally design droplet based systems for generic applications