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Hardware, Software, Wetware, Co-Design Research



High level application specifications are automatically converted to hardware to support the functional, structural, and performance requirements of the described application. In CIDAR, this hardware takes the form of custom microfluidic devices that can control, manipulate, and process data for engineered biological systems.



Software tools and algorithms provide mechanisms to map application functionality to biological elements (e.g.  compile to DNA). In addition, software can be automatically generated to control microfluidics to meet specific function and performance requirements.

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Engineered biological building blocks with well characterized performance parameters are the primitives on which CIDAR research designs systems. These elements are explicitly designed to be amendable to high throughput assembly protocols and are stored both virtually and physically using on-line "parts registries".

Design Automation

Software tools make synthetic biology more effective by integrating concepts from electronic design automation into the specification, design, and assembly of complex biological systems.

Interdisciplinary Approach

CIDAR is composed of a diverse team of undergraduates, graduate students, post-docs, and research staff from a range of programming, engineering and scientific backgrounds.

Mixed Purpose Workspaces

With both Computational and Wetlab facilities, CIDAR has workspaces for software development and biological engineering research across multiple  departments at Boston University.

Latest News


DropMAM makes splash at IGEM 2022

The DropMAM (Droplet Microfluidics Automation Machine) is a novel, modular piece of technology with electronic integration throughout. It will allow users to customize an aquatic environment of their choice via a user-friendly touch screen interface, and will combine that liquid input with any biosensor by creating nano-sized reaction droplets in a microfluidic chip that output live data. This improves the process of toxin detection within liquids via automation, lowered cost, and customizability in a portable, easy to use system.

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