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PhageBox: An Open Source Digital Microfluidic Extension with Applications for Phage Discovery
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  • Dreycey Albin ,
  • Lukas Buecherl ,
  • Eitan Kochavi ,
  • Elise Niehaus ,
  • Sasha Novack ,
  • Shenali Uragoda ,
  • Chris J. Myers ,
  • Mirela Alistar
Dreycey Albin
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Lukas Buecherl
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Eitan Kochavi
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Elise Niehaus
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Sasha Novack
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Shenali Uragoda
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Chris J. Myers
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Mirela Alistar
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Abstract

This work introduces an open-source hardware and software expansion for digital microfluidics (DMF) devices that integrates programmatic temperature and magnetic control. Our aim was to create a versatile, modular, extension that may aid in biomedical applications and has proven potential for use in bacteriophage research. To achieve this, we developed an accessible DMF device extension called PhageBox.
PhageBox incorporates temperature and magnetic control modules at the hardware level. At the software level, it is controlled by embedded software that includes a unique model for bio-protocol programming and a graphical user interface for visual feedback and operation of the device. We evaluated PhageBox’s effectiveness in biomedical applications using functional testing and validated the temperature control using thermography, achieving a range of +/-0.2 Celsius. The electromagnets produced a magnetic force of 15 milliTesla, which precisely immobilized magnetic beads.
Furthermore, we demonstrate the potential of PhageBox in bacteriophage research through three initial proof of principle protocols: (1) a universal framework for PCR, (2) T7 bacteriophage restriction enzyme digestion, and (3) the concentration of PhiX174 RF genomic DNA. Overall, our study presents an open-source solution for DMF devices to integrate temperature regulation and magnetism, facilitating various applications in biomedical research and bacteriophage studies.
(GitHub: https://github.com/Dreycey/PhageBox)
2023Published in IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering on pages 1-10. 10.1109/TBME.2023.3295418