Techniques used to prepare clinical samples have been perfected for use in diagnostic testing in a variety of clinical situations, e.g., to extract, concentrate, and purify respiratory virus particles. These techniques offer a high level of purity and concentration of target samples but require significant equipment and highly trained personnel to conduct, which is difficult to achieve in resource-limited environments where rapid testing and diagnostics are crucial for proper handling of respiratory viruses. Microfluidics has popularly been utilized toward rapid virus detection in resource-limited environments, where most devices focused on detection rather than sample preparation. Initial microfluidic prototypes have been hindered by their reliance on several off-chip preprocessing steps and external laboratory equipment. Recently, sample preparation methods have also been incorporated into microfluidics to conduct the virus detection in an all-in-one, automated manner. Extraction, concentration, and purification of viruses have been demonstrated in smaller volumes of samples and reagents, with no need for specialized training or complex machinery. Recent devices show the ability to function independently and efficiently to provide rapid, automated sample preparation as well as the detection of viral samples with high efficiency. In this review, methods of microfluidic sample preparation for the isolation and purification of viral samples are discussed, limitations of current systems are summarized, and potential advances are identified.

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