Microfluidic pneumatic logic circuits and digital pneumatic microprocessors for integrated microfluidic systems

Lab Chip. 2009 Nov 7;9(21):3131-43. doi: 10.1039/b904354c. Epub 2009 Aug 20.


We have developed pneumatic logic circuits and microprocessors built with microfluidic channels and valves in polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS). The pneumatic logic circuits perform various combinational and sequential logic calculations with binary pneumatic signals (atmosphere and vacuum), producing cascadable outputs based on Boolean operations. A complex microprocessor is constructed from combinations of various logic circuits and receives pneumatically encoded serial commands at a single input line. The device then decodes the temporal command sequence by spatial parallelization, computes necessary logic calculations between parallelized command bits, stores command information for signal transportation and maintenance, and finally executes the command for the target devices. Thus, such pneumatic microprocessors will function as a universal on-chip control platform to perform complex parallel operations for large-scale integrated microfluidic devices. To demonstrate the working principles, we have built 2-bit, 3-bit, 4-bit, and 8-bit microprocessors to control various target devices for applications such as four color dye mixing, and multiplexed channel fluidic control. By significantly reducing the need for external controllers, the digital pneumatic microprocessor can be used as a universal on-chip platform to autonomously manipulate microfluids in a high throughput manner.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Computer Simulation
  • Dimethylpolysiloxanes / chemistry
  • Equipment Design*
  • Lab-On-A-Chip Devices*
  • Microcomputers*
  • Microfluidic Analytical Techniques / instrumentation*
  • Microfluidic Analytical Techniques / methods*


  • Dimethylpolysiloxanes
  • baysilon