Team:BostonU HW/Software



Neptune is an open-source software tool available to biologists through Github and Nona using the BSDII license. Specifically, it is a web application that runs on a node.js express server using HTML, JavaScript and CSS. To get the software running, the biologist has to go though a couple of easy steps. First, they would have to download node.js, and our project repository.

After running our project through node.js, the biologist would be introduced to the home page of Neptune. Here, they could look at documentation or get started with their project. They can either continue working on a pre-existing project, or start a new one. The user would then be redirected to the dashboard page where they can see a layout of the entire workflow.

The first step to designing a microfluidic chip would be the specify page. Here they can specify the layout of their chip from a very high level description. This would be a simple verilog-like language. Once the description is mapped onto the chip using an automatic place and route tool, the user can then proceed to the design stage. Here, the user can fine tune their work to edit the experimental setup. Once that is complete, the chip design will be outputed as a JSON and an SVG. The SVG would be used to mill out the chip, and the JSON would help the user control the experiment later on. Following the design page, the user would be redirected to a Build page where they can select their hardware based on their requirements. Once the user maps the hardware to their microfluidic chip, they can proceed to Assembly where they would learn how to put all the pieces together. They can set up their entire experiment here including building the hardware infrastructure, milling out their microfluidic chip and sealing the control and flow layers, and so on. Last is the Control page. Here, they can Control their microfluidic device by opening and closing valves, and dispensing liquid through Neptune's user interface. They can also time their experiments to a certain level by dispensing a certain volume of liquid over some time. Please view our video for more information and a demonstration of our software.