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Published on 11 March 2021

Culture-free bacterial analysis in less than 15min

   What is Bacram?

CEA-Leti introduces BACRAM, the first compact and culture-free technology that identifies microorganisms in less than 15 min. BACRAM leverages:

  • A custom multimodal instrument combining imaging modalities—lensfree imaging and darkfieldmicroscopy—with a Raman analyzer, based on a confocal arrangement. Lensfree imaging enables wide field-of-view detection, while darkfield microscopy ensures easy targeting of single bacteria cell. Raman spectra are recorded in 10 sec.
  • A database filled with Raman spectra of the most relevant bacteria depending on the application.
  • A classification algorithm based on a hierarchical decision structure with an evaluation of the decision's reliability at each stage.
  • An automatic software allowing unknown spectra visualization, and providing the results of bacteria identification.


BACRAM can be used for:

  • Pathogen threat detection in the context of Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) risks
  • Point-of-care diagnosis for human medicine
  • Environmental monitoring—air, water, etc.
  • Industrial process monitoring

   What's new?

BACRAM offers many new features, including:

  • Rapid identification of bacteria in less than 15 minutes: no culture growing step, label-free, single cell analysis
  • Transportable system compatible with field operation and associated constraints. The system can be used in first response vehicles, as well as in mobile laboratories or microbial safety workbenches.
  • Specific identification at the species level—identification at the strain level possible
  • A classification algorithm that can adapt to the variability of biological or environmental samples

  What's next?

This technology is already available for pathogen threat detection in the context of Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) risk. CEA-Leti is currently working on further developments for new applications in human medicine, industrial process monitoring and Raman label-based techniques. BACRAM may also be leveraged as a part of a global analytical chain, including sample collection, preparation and analysis.


 Strola et al., “Single bacteria identification by Raman spectroscopy”, JBO, 19(11), 111610 (2014)

 Baritaux et al., “A study on identification of bacteria in environmental samples using single-cell Raman Spectroscopy: feasibility and reference libraries”, Environ. Sci. Pollut. Res (2016) 23:8184-8191
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