Analysis and Design of Tamper-Mitigating Microfluidic Routing Fabrics

Jack Tang, Mohamed Ibrahim, Krishnendu Chakrabarty, Ramesh Karri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Microfluidic routing fabrics are reconfigurable primitives that permit the dynamic redirection of fluids on a flow-based microfluidic biochip. Such primitives are bringing the benefits of rapid prototyping and on-the-fly reconfigurability from integrated circuits to the microfluidic domain. An unfortunate side effect of this increased flexibility is susceptibility to tampering. A malicious adversary can alter either the electronic control signals or the pneumatic control lines used to drive the routing fabric. In this paper, we provide a high-level security assessment of microfluidic systems utilizing routing fabrics, and analyze their security under actuation tampering attacks. We show that under reasonable assumptions, the permissible states of a routing fabric form a probability distribution. We provide methods for efficiently determining this distribution through a binary tree representation. We then show how to synthesize routings fabrics that exhibit well-defined behaviors. We call a routing fabric designed in such a way tamper-mitigating, as it makes the effects of tampering probabilistically less severe. We then show how the proposed methodology can be used to protect a forensic DNA barcoding application from attack.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number8675297
Pages (from-to)1003-1016
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE Transactions on Computer-Aided Design of Integrated Circuits and Systems
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2020


  • Flow-based microfluidic biochip
  • mitigation
  • routing fabric
  • security
  • tampering
  • transposer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Analysis and Design of Tamper-Mitigating Microfluidic Routing Fabrics'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this