Digital microfluidic biochips (DMFBs) are attractive instruments for obtaining modern molecular biology and chemical measurements. Due to the increasingly complex measurements carried out on a DMFB, such chips are more prone to failure. To compensate for the shortcomings of the module-based DMFB, this paper proposes a routing-based fault repair method. The routing-based synthesis methodology ensures a much higher chip utilization factor by removing the virtual modules on the chip, as well as removing the extra electrodes needed as guard cells. In this paper, the routing problem is identified as a dynamic path-planning problem and mixed path design problem under certain constraints, and an improved Dijkstra and improved particle swarm optimization (ID-IPSO) algorithm is proposed. By introducing a cost function into the Dijkstra algorithm, the path-planning problem under dynamic obstacles is solved, and the problem of mixed path design is solved by redefining the position and velocity vectors of the particle swarm optimization. The ID-IPSO routing-based fault repair method is applied to a multibody fluid detection experiment. The proposed design method has a stronger optimization ability than the greedy algorithm. The algorithm is applied to
fault-free chips. The proposed ID-IPSO routing-based chip design method saves 13.9%, 14.3%, and 14.5% of the experiment completion time compared with the greedy algorithm. Compared with a modular fault repair method based on the genetic algorithm, the ID-IPSO routing-based fault repair method has greater advantages and can save 39.3% of the completion time on average in the completion of complex experiments. When the ratio of faulty electrodes is less than 12% and 23%, the modular and ID-IPSO routing-based fault repair methods, respectively, can guarantee a 100% failure repair rate. The utilization rate of the electrodes is 18% higher than that of the modular method, and the average electrode usage time is 17%. Therefore, the ID-IPSO routing-based fault repair method can accommodate more faulty electrodes for the same fault repair rate; the experiment completion time is shorter, the average number of electrodes is lower, and the security performance is better.
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