Microfluidics for Synthetic Biology

Our goal in the CIDAR lab is to take a multidisciplinary approach to making microfluidics more accessible and help overcome the testing bottleneck of synthetic biology. The various projects range from building CAD tools, embedded hardware, developing manufacturing protocols, and building novel biological screening platforms.

Current Projects

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DAFD is the first microfluidic design automation software that can deliver a user-specified performance using machine learning. DAFD capitalizes on machine learning, low-cost rapid prototyping, experimental data-sets, and computer-aided design (CAD) tools to automatically generate the required design of a microfluidic component to deliver the high-level user-specified performance. DAFD eliminates the need for costly and time-consuming design iterations that are currently necessary to create microfluidic devices that deliver an application-specific performance. More info here


CIDAR Lab’s 3DμF is a web-based application that enables the creation of microfluidic components and exports design files in SVG or STL format for fabrication. More info here


The major advaces in electronics can be attributed to the advances in CAD tools. MINT is the first step in trying to replicate the versatile toolkit available to electronics designers. With MINT, microfluidics designers can easily create large and complex microfluidics designs. This can be done using the ever increasing library of various components like cell traps, valves, ports, multiplexers, mixers, and even transposers that are being added to MINT.


Fluigi is a Computer Aided Design (CAD) framework for creating microfluidic devices for use in synthetic biology. Fluigi provides tools to optimize the layout of genetic circuits on a microfluidic chip, to generate the control sequence of the required valves, and to simulate the expected behavior of the chip and the genetic circuits it contains. More info here


MakerFluidics removes the significant barriers of cost, time, and expertise from the microfluidic fabrication process, providing a better avenue for the synthetic biology community to capitalize on the benefits of microfluidics. We have done this through building out a rapid prototyping workflow and developing novel electrical integration methods. More info here


Neptune is a specify, design, and build tool for the development of continuous flow microfluidics. With Neptune, users can specify microfluidic devices through a high-level description of liquid flow relations. The application will automatically place and route the design schematic of the microfluidic and, when used in conjunction with low cost and readily available CAD tools, a user can build their custom microfluidic system in-lab. More info here

Applications and Demonstration Videos