We demonstrate the optothermal actuation of individual capillary burst valves in an all-polymer microfluidic device. The capillary burst valves are realised in a planar design by introducing a fluidic constriction in a microfluidic channel of constant depth. We show that a capillary burst valve can be burst by raising the temperature due to the temperature dependence of the fluid surface tension. We address individual valves by using a local heating platform based on a thin film of near infrared absorber dye embedded in the lid used to seal the microfluidic device [L. H. Thamdrup et al., Nano Lett. 10, 826–832 (2010)]. An individual valve is burst by focusing the laser in its vicinity. We demonstrate the capture of single polystyrene 7 m beads in the constriction triggered by the bursting of the valve.