We developed a microfluidic platform employing (normally open) pneumatic valves for particle concentration. The device features a three-dimensional network with a curved fluidic channel and three pneumatic valves (a sieve valve (Vs) that concentrates particles and two ON/OFF rubber-seal pneumatic valves that block the working fluid). Double-sided replication employing polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) was used to fabricate the network, channel, and chamber. Particles were blocked by deformation of the Vs diaphragm, and then accumulated in the curved microfluidic channel. The working fluid was discharged via operation of the two ON/OFF valves. After concentration, particles were released to an outlet port. The Vs pressure required to block solid particles varying in diameter was determined based on the height of the curved microchannel and a finite element method (FEM) simulation of Vs diaphragm displacement. Our method was verified according to the temporal response of the fluid flow rate controlled by the pneumatic valves. Furthermore, all particles with various diameters were successfully blocked, accumulated, and released. The operating pressure, time required for concentration, and concentration ratio were dependent on the particle diameter. The estimated concentration percentage of 24.9 µm diameter polystyrene particles was about 3.82% for 20 min of operation.
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