Schistosomiasis is a parasitic disease affecting over 200 million people worldwide. This study reports the design and development of a microfiltration device for isolating schistosome eggs in urine for rapid diagnostics of urogenital schistosomiasis. The design of the device comprises a linear array of microfluidic traps to immobilize and separate schistosome eggs. Sequential loading of individual eggs is achieved autonomously by flow resistance, which facilitates observation and enumeration of samples with low-abundance targets. Computational fluid dynamics modeling and experimental characterization are performed to optimize the trapping performance. By optimizing the capture strategy, the trapping efficiency could be achieved at 100% with 300 μl/min and 83% with 3000 μl/min, and the filtration procedure could be finished within 10 min. The trapped eggs can be either recovered for downstream analysis or preserved in situ for whole-mount staining. On-chip phenotyping using confocal laser fluorescence microscopy identifies the microstructure of the trapped schistosome eggs. The device provides a novel microfluidic approach for trapping, counting and on-chip fluorescence characterization of urinal Schistosoma haematobium eggs for clinical and investigative application.
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