Locking of biochemical assays for digital microfluidic biochips

Sukanta Bhattacharjee, Jack Tang, Mohamed Ibrahim, Krishnendu Chakrabarty, Ramesh Karri

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


It is expected that as digital microfluidic biochips (DMFBs) mature, the hardware design flow will begin to resemble the current practice in the semiconductor industry: design teams send chip layouts to third party foundries for fabrication. These foundries are untrusted, and threaten to steal valuable intellectual property (IP). In a DMFB, the IP consists of not only hardware layouts, but also of the biochemical assays (bioassays) that are intended to be executed on-chip. DMFB designers therefore must defend these protocols against theft. We propose to 'lock' biochemical assays through random insertion of dummy mix-split operations, subject to several design rules. We experimentally evaluate the proposed locking mechanism, and show how a high level of protection can be achieved even on bioassays with low complexity. We offer guidance on the number of dummy mixsplits required to secure a bioassay for the lifetime of a patent.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings - 2018 23rd IEEE European Test Symposium, ETS 2018
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9781538637289
StatePublished - Jun 29 2018
Event23rd IEEE European Test Symposium, ETS 2018 - Bremen, Germany
Duration: May 28 2018Jun 1 2018

Publication series

NameProceedings of the European Test Workshop
ISSN (Print)1530-1877
ISSN (Electronic)1558-1780


Other23rd IEEE European Test Symposium, ETS 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Software


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