OpenDrop V3 – Digital Microfluidics Development Board


A new version of OpenDrop is in development.  Leave your contact here and you will be informed when new devices are available.

OpenDrop an 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 V3 is the newest edition of the popular OpenDrop Digital Microfluidics Platform with a lot of new features.

The OpenDrop devices is based on 14×8 electrode array + 4 reservoirs integrated into the printed circuit board. The liquids stay on a thin, hydrophobic foil attached to the droplet carrier. The device is powered through as USB-C to USB-A cable. The voltage level can be set with the built in soft menu from 150-300 Volts, DC or AC.

Hydrophobic Liquid Carrier
The gold coated conductive electrodes of the device must be covered with a hydrophobic foil that carry the liquids. This hydrophobic foil is currently not provided with the device. Instructions on how to produce it can be found on the OpenDrop website. For simple topless applications parafilm and thin silicon oil works great. In topless configuration you may need to discharge the droplets as they may carry electrical charges that prevent them from moving.

The OpenDrop is compatible with Adafruit Feather M0 controller boards and can be programmed through the free Arduino IDE. The electrodes are addressed in a x-y coordinate system. A sample code with the instruction to activate one single electrode can be found on the OpenDrop GitHub.

New features:

  • Reservoirs – the new electrode array features 4 CT-type reservoirs to experiment with
  • Gold coated 14×8 electrodes array, 2.75mm2 in size, 4mil gaps
  • AC and DC – very exciting , the OpenDrop V3 now has true AC voltage driving capability (up to 300VAC).
  • 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
  • Super flat OLED Display
  • Nice joystick and 2 buttons, 3 LEDs
  • Reset button
  • All files open source, designed on KiCAD