ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202110.0148.v1
Subject: Engineering, General Engineering Keywords: Digital twin; centrifugal microfluidics; Lab-on-a-Disc; crowdsourcing; blockchain; decentralization; oracle; consensus; non-fungible token; NFT; decentralized science; DeSci
Online: 8 October 2021 (16:55:19 CEST)
Since its inception in the late 2000s, blockchain has emerged as a powerful tool for creating trust without intermediaries to incentivize global communities for working for a common goal, such as the improvement of its very ecosystem, its applications and community adoption. While first blockchains were mainly devised for confirming transactions of their innate cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, smart-contract blockchains like Ethereum can interface with the real-world through so-called “oracles”, which feed trustful off-chain information. This paper introduces digital twins of physical objects and processes as computational oracles to effectively unleash the tremendous opportunity offered by blockchain to the realm of fundamental science, research and technology development (RTD). The crowdsourcing concept is illustrated with the example of centrifugal flow control in microfluidic “Lab-on-a-Disc” (LoaD) systems.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202107.0443.v1
Subject: Engineering, Automotive Engineering Keywords: centrifugal microfluidics; Lab-on-a-Disc; anti-counterfeit; rotational flow control; valving; digital twin
Online: 20 July 2021 (11:23:54 CEST)
Non-genuine medical products, including diagnostic devices, have become a lucrative business for fraudsters, causing significant damage to revenues and reputation of companies, as well as posing a significant risk to the health of people and societies. Along a “digital twin” representing centrifugal microfluidic flow control on exemplary “Lab-on-a-Disc” (LoaD) systems, a novel, two-pronged strategy to safeguard miniaturized point-of-care devices by means of secret features and manufacturing challenges is outlined; such “hardware encryption” is flexibly programmed for each chip during production, and deciphered from a secure, local or online database at the time of use. This way, unlicensed copying may be efficiently deterred by an unfavourable economy-of-scale, even in absence of legal prosecution.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0282.v2
Subject: Engineering, Biomedical & Chemical Engineering Keywords: centrifugal microfluidics, Lab-on-a-Disc, large-scale integration, reliability, tolerances, band width, packing density
Online: 8 June 2021 (12:07:35 CEST)
Enhancing the degree of functional multiplexing while assuring operational reliability and manufacturability at competitive costs are crucial ingredients for enabling comprehensive sample-to-answer automation, e.g., for use in common, decentralized “Point-of-Care” or “Point-of-Use” scenarios. This paper demonstrates a model-based ‘digital twin’ approach which efficiently supports the algorithmic design optimization of exemplary centrifugo-pneumatic (CP) dissolvable-film (DF) siphon valves towards larger-scale integration (LSI) of well-established “Lab-on-a-Disc” (LoaD) systems. Obviously, the spatial footprint of the valves and their upstream laboratory unit operations (LUOs) have to fit, at a given radial position prescribed by its occurrence in the assay protocol, into the locally accessible disc space. At the same time, the retention rate of a rotationally actuated CP-DF siphon valve and, most challenging, its band width related to unavoidable tolerances of experimental input parameters, need to slot into a defined interval of the practically allowed frequency envelope. To accomplish particular design goals, a set of parametrized metrics is defined, which are to be met within their practical boundaries while (numerically) minimizing the band width in the frequency domain. While each LSI scenario needs to be addressed individually on the basis of the digital twin, a suite of qualitative design rules and instructive showcases structures are presented.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202104.0612.v2
Subject: Engineering, Biomedical & Chemical Engineering Keywords: centrifugal microfluidics; Lab-on-a-Disc; centrifugo-pneumatic flow control; integration; multiplexing; parallelization; sample-to-answer; reliability; tolerances; design-for-manufacture; digital twin; event-triggering
Online: 8 June 2021 (11:23:58 CEST)
Fluidic larger-scale integration (LSI) resides at the heart of comprehensive sample-to-answer automation and parallelization of assay panels for frequent and ubiquitous bioanalytical testing in decentralized the point-of-use / point-of-care settings. This paper develops a novel “digital twin” strategy with an emphasis on rotational, centrifugo-pneumatic flow control. The underlying model systematically connects retention rates of rotationally actuated valves as a key element of LSI to experimental input parameters; for the first time, the concept of band widths in frequency space as the decisive quantity characterizing operationally robustness is introduced, a set of quantitative performance metrics guiding algorithmic optimization of disc layouts is defined, and the engineering principles of advanced, logical flow control and timing are elucidated. Overall, the digital twin enables efficient design for automating multiplexed bioassay protocols on such “Lab-on-a-Disc” (LoaD) systems featuring high packing density, reliability, configurability, modularity and manufacturability to eventually minimize cost, time and risk of development and production.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0683.v2
Subject: Engineering, Biomedical & Chemical Engineering Keywords: centrifugal microfluidics; Lab-on-a-Disc; fluidic integration; rotational flow control; valving
Online: 7 June 2021 (14:45:53 CEST)
Current, application-driven trends towards larger-scale integration (LSI) of microfluidic systems for comprehensive assay automation and multiplexing pose significant technological and economical challenges to developers. By virtue of their intrinsic capability for powerful sample preparation, centrifugal systems have attracted significant interest in academia and business since the early 1990s. This review models common, rotationally controlled valving schemes at the heart of such “Lab-on-a-Disc” (LoaD) platforms to predict critical spin rates and reliability of flow control mainly based on geometries, location and liquid volumes to be processed, and their experimental tolerances. In absence of larger-scale manufacturing facilities during product development, the method presented here facilitates the provision of efficient simulation tools for virtual prototyping and characterization to greatly expedite design optimization according to key performance metrics. This virtual in silico approach thus significantly accelerates, de-risks and lowers costs along the critical advancement from idea, fluidic testing, bioanalytical validation and scale-up to commercial mass manufacture.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202205.0223.v1
Subject: Engineering, Other Keywords: digitization; virtualization; digital twin; blockchain; crowdsourcing; decentralization; non-fungible token; NFT; smart contract; oracle; tokenization; digital ownership; consensus; governance; trust; incentivization; staking; reputation systems; reproducibility crisis; exponentiality; digital twin; metaverse; DeSci; decentralized science; citizen science; open science; distributed ledger; digital scarcity
Online: 17 May 2022 (05:50:03 CEST)
Fundamental science and applied research and technology development (RTD) are facing significant challenges that particularly compound to the notorious credibility, reproducibility, funding and sustainability crises. The underlying, serious shortcomings are substantially amplified by a metrics-obsessed publication culture, and a growing cohort of academics fishing for fairly stagnant (public) funding budgets. This work presents, for the first time, a groundbreaking strategy to successfully address these severe issues; the novel strategy proposed here leverages the distributed ledger technology (DLT) “blockchain” to capitalize on cryptoeconomic mechanisms, such as tokenization, consensus, crowdsourcing, smart contracts, reputation systems as well as staking, reward and slashing mechanisms. This powerful toolbox, which is so far widely unfamiliar to traditional scientific and RTD communities (“TradSci”), is synergistically combined with the exponentially growing computing capabilities for virtualizing experiments through digital twin methods in a future scientific “metaverse”. Project contributions, such as hypotheses, methods, experimental data, modelling, simulation, assessment, predictions and directions are crowdsourced using blockchain, and captured by so-called non-fungible tokens (“NFTs”). The so enabled, highly integrative approach, termed decentralized science (“DeSci”), is destined to move research out of its present silos, and to markedly enhance quality, credibility, efficiency, transparency, inclusiveness, sustainability, impact, and sustainability of a wide spectrum of academic and commercial research initiatives.