Mega-Microfluidics

WACI at ASPLOS 2019, April 2019
BibTeX
 @misc{willsey2019waci,
  title = {Mega-Microfluidics},
  author = {
    Max Willsey and Luis Ceze
  },
  howpublished = {WACI at ASPLOS '19},
}
 

Abstract

Microfluidic automation promises to make biology and chemistry more precise and efficient. Wetlabs are already using various technologies to automate part of their workflows.

To scale things even further, various companies offer cloud lab services. In this paradigm, the user submits a job (and perhaps mails in some reagents), and robots in a warehouse perform the necessary fluidic tasks. Finally, the result is mailed back to the user, or in some cases just the relevant data is sent.

Our work in ASPLOS 2019 explores a more dynamic approach to microfluidic automation, raising the possibility of running more dynamic protocols that “close the loop” on automated experimentation. But that work only looked at the hardware and software necessary to run protocols on one device, a device that is prohibitively small for many workloads. That said, those hardware design decisions have big benefits: the device is cheap, easy to use, and modular. Inspired by modern cloud-scale computer systems, this WACI presentation will propose cloud-scale, dynamic, multi-tenant microfluidic automation powered by small, cheap commodity components.