OpenDrop V4 – Digital Microfluidics Platform


OpenDrop a modular, open source digital microfludics platform for research purposes. The device uses recent electro-wetting technology to control small droplets of liquids. Potential applications are lab on a chip devices for automating processes of digital biology.

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OpenDrop Version 4 is the newest edition of the popular OpenDrop Digital Microfluidics Platform with a lot of new features. Now with droplet feedback reading.

The OpenDrop V4 is modular electrowetting controller. The driver board is equipped with a connector that can host a circuit board cartridge with a 14×8 electrode array and 4 reservoirs. The liquids stay on a thin, hydrophobic foil laminated to the circuit board . The device is powered from USB though an included USB-C cable. All the voltage level are generated on the device and can be set with the built in soft menu from 50-260 Volts, DC or AC.

OpenDrop Cartridges
The modular concepts of the OpenDrop V4 allows different configurations of cartridges:
1. The device comes with a preinstalled gold coated electrode array board that can be coated with any dielectric layer and hydrophobic coating suitable for electrowetting.
2. The Open Cartridge Kit (not included, sold separately) is en easy start to make your own electrowetting cartridges for topless digital microfluidic applications using readily available materials.
3. The OpenDrop V4 Cartridge (not included, sold separately) is a newly developed, fully functional cartridge capable of “move, mix, split and reservoir dispensing”. The 14×8 electrode array and 4 reservoirs are laminated with a 15um ETFE foil, hydrophobic coating and ITO top cover.
4. With the Temperature Controller Option, the OpenDrop V4 Cartridge with Heated Pads (not included, sold separately) can be used and 3 zones on the electrode board can be individually temperature controlled.

The OpenDrop V4 can be operated standalone and droplets can be moved through the built in joystick. A control software to program sequences of patterns from a computer is available as a free download. The board is also compatible with Adafruit Feather M0 controller boards and can be reprogrammed through the free Arduino IDE for custom specific applications.  A sample code with the instruction to activate electrodes can be found on the OpenDrop GitHub.


  • Modular Cartridge System
  • Connector to connect electrode board with up to 128 channels
  • Gold coated 14×8 electrodes array, 2.75 mm x 2.75 mm in size, 4mil gaps
  • Reservoirs – the new electrode array features 4 CT-type reservoirs
  • AC and DC voltage generated on the device form USB power. True AC voltage driving capability (50-260VAC).
  • All 128 channels with over-current protection
  • Droplet sensing feedback for all 128 electrodes.
  • 32bit AVR SAMD21G18 microprocessor with plenty of memory and power
  • Electronic settings for voltage level, frequency and AC/DC selection
  • Electronic reading of actual voltage level
  • One connector for communication and powering (USB-C)
  • Optical isolation of the high-voltage electronics trough opto-couplers and PhotoMOS
  • New polyphonic audio amplifier and speaker (it’s a synth!)
  • Cartridge presence detection
  • Feedback amplifier
  • Super flat OLED Display
  • Nice joystick and 2 buttons, 3 LEDs
  • Reset button
  • All files open source, designed on KiCAD

Option “with Magnets”:

  • Movable magnet for magnetic beads separation
  • Two motors shifting two neodymium magnets, diameter 3mm, up and down separately
  • Button controlled on electrode x:5/y:2 and x:10/y:2

Option “with Temperature Controller”:

  • PID temperature regulator on board
  • Temperatures can be set by PC software
  • The heating function requires special cartridges with built in heater and temperature sensor
  • Other cartridges without heating are compatible


  • Assembled, programmed and fully tested OpenDrop V4 electronic board
  • 1x gold coated electrode array circuit board (no dielectric or hydrophobic layer)
  • USB cable


Additional information

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OpenDrop V4, OpenDrop V4 with Magnets, OpenDrop V4 with Magnets and Temperature Controller