An apparatus and method for the collection of respirable particles and concentration of such particles into a small fluid volume. The apparatus captures and concentrates small (1-10 .mu.m) respirable particles into a sub-millileter volume of fluid. The method involves a two step operation, collection and concentration: wherein collection of particles is by a wetted surface having small vertical slits that act as capillary channels; and concentration is carried out by transfer of the collected particles to a small volume (sub-milliliter) container by centrifugal force whereby the particles are forced through the vertical slits and contact a non-wetted wall surface, and are deflected to the bottom where they are contained for analysis, such as a portable flow cytometer or a portable PCR DNA analysis system.
The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. W-7405-ENG-48 between the United States Department of Energy and the University of California for the operation of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.