Tamper-resistant pin-constrained digital microfluidic biochips

Jack Tang, Mohamed Ibrahim, Krishnendu Chakrabarty, Ramesh Karri

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


Digital microfluidic biochips (DMFBs)-an emerging technology that implements bioassays through manipulation of discrete fluid droplets-are vulnerable to actuation tampering attacks, where a malicious adversary modifies control signals for the purposes of manipulating results or causing denial-of-service. Such attacks leverage the highly programmable nature of DMFBs. However, practical DMFBs often employ a technique called pin mapping to reduce control pin count while simultaneously reducing the degrees of freedom available for droplet manipulation. Attempts to control specific electrodes as part of an attack cannot be made without inadvertently actuating other electrodes on-chip, which makes the tampering evident. This paper explores this tamperresistance property of pin mapping in detail. We derive relevant security metrics, evaluate the tamper-resistance of several existing pin mapping algorithms, and propose a new security-aware pin mapper with superior tamper-resistance as compared to prior work.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 55th Annual Design Automation Conference, DAC 2018
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
ISBN (Print)9781450357005
StatePublished - Jun 24 2018
Event55th Annual Design Automation Conference, DAC 2018 - San Francisco, United States
Duration: Jun 24 2018Jun 29 2018

Publication series

NameProceedings - Design Automation Conference
VolumePart F137710
ISSN (Print)0738-100X


Other55th Annual Design Automation Conference, DAC 2018
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Francisco


  • Digital microfluidics
  • Electrode addressing
  • Security
  • Tamper-resistance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Modeling and Simulation


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