Pioneering diagnostics


Applied to microbiology, this technology enables microorganisms such as bacteria, yeast and mold to be quantified in very little time.

Ultra-rapid microbial detection

Cytometry is used to count the number of cells present in a sample.

By combining a fluorescent viability marker and laser beam detection, CHEMUNEX® technology provides extremely fast results without recourse to the traditional method of bacterial culture on Petri plates, which can take several days.

Over 20 years, the CHEMUNEX technique has prevailed in the majority of food processing, cosmetics and pharmaceutical companies, as a result of its speed and reliability.


  • Detection of all viable microorganisms
    • Fluorescent marking

CHEMUNEX technology is based on a viability marker (Fluorassure®), which makes living cells fluorescent following stimulation by a laser beam. The light emitted by each fluorescent cell is measured and used to count the number of viable microorganisms.


  • Detection of non-culturable bacteria

Bacteria that have undergone stress, e.g. following insufficient heat treatment, may take some time to grow on a Petri plate and therefore cannot be detected using traditional culture techniques. Likewise, the presence of inhibitors (preserving agents) in a sample may result in the same situation. The use of CHEMUNEX technology to mark all viable microorganisms, including those that are non-culturable, provides accurate results in record time.

  • Flow cytometry 
    • For non-filterable samples

Flow cytometry is particularly well-suited to the microbiological testing of products that are difficult to filter, such as dairy products, fruit juices and cosmetics.

The cells are pushed one after another into a capillary tube, where they are stimulated by a laser and counted one by one.


  • Solid-phase laser scanning cytometry
    • For filterable samples

Solid-phase laser scanning cytometry is used in the pharmaceutical industry to test medical products that must be sterile (e.g. injectables) and those that are not obliged to be sterile (e.g. eye drops).

After marking, the sample is filtered through a membrane. A laser beam then sweeps the entire surface of the membrane to stimulate and count any viable microorganisms present in the sample. Today, this is the fastest microbiological testing technique available in the world, providing results within a few hours as opposed to up to 14 days for traditional microbiology.

Why it’s important

bioMérieux's CHEMUNEX cytometry analyzers allow the quarantine period applied to finished products before they are made available on the market to be significantly reduced.

They are also a valuable resource for managing production plants, as they make it possible to test raw materials, production hygiene and semi-finished products with great speed.

bioMérieux's product offering

  • Flow cytometers - three systems available according to the testing throughput required:
    • BactiFlow®: semi-automatic,
    • BactiFlow ALS®: automatic, 25 sample capacity,
    • D-Count®: automatic, 50 sample capacity.
  • Solid-phase laser scanning cytometry: ScanRDI®