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Press release | New technologies

CEA-Leti Launches Direct Analysis to Bring Speed And Efficiency to Food-Safety Testing

​70th Startup Highlights the World-Class, Basic-Research Institute's Culture of Encouraging Entrepreneurship Among its Scientists 

Published on 31 May 2021

GRENOBLE, France – May 31, 2021 – Armed with exclusive access to 11 CEA-Leti patents covering specialties such as DNA extraction and microscopic-sample diagnostics, CEA-Leti startup Direct Analysis has developed a pathogenic-bacteria-detection system for food manufacturers that takes one-fourth of the time of existing tests, can minimize stoppage of production lines and reduce food-product recalls and losses.  

Direct Analysis, CEA-Leti's 70th startup, developed a microfluidic technology dedicated to DNA and RNA extraction from microorganisms, including the top three pathogenic bacteria in food, Listeria, Salmonella and E. coli, which can cause serious injury and death. The system seamlessly leverages biomolecular testing and CEA-Leti's lensfree imaging technology, in a device that integrates DNA analysis for pathogen detection.


The shortcomings of current tests have serious consequences in terms of public health, with several billion incidents of food poisoning annually, and in terms of waste of many tons of food because of contamination, not to mention the financial-and-image consequences for food processors, said Thomas Bordy, a co-founder of Direct Analysis. Our test makes it possible to detect the presence of contamination in less than six hours with a sensitivity in line with international standards on finished products, environmental samples or swabs. This responsiveness and accuracy will ensure significant ROI and improved efficiency for food manufacturers and reduce incidences of food poisoning.

With 70 startups launched since its founding in 1967 – 10 in the past four years – CEA-Leti is a leading global R&D institute for nano- and microelectronics. Its portfolio of more than 3,100 patents and its culture that encourages entrepreneurship have been key to the launch of companies such as Soitec (IPO), Micronics (IPO), Kalray (IPO), Sofradir, Movea (acquired by InvenSense), Aledia, Exagan (majority stake acquired by STMicroelectronics), and EFCIS, which led to the formation of ST.  


Maintaining a nurturing environment that encourages its scientists to look beyond their labs and into the marketplace for commercial opportunities to industrialize our new technologies is part of what makes CEA-Leti not only a world-class, basic-research institute, but also an exciting place for scientists to work, said Emmanuel Sabonnadière, CEO of CEA-Leti.

Direct Analysis plans on marketing its system for food processors in 2022, and expand to other markets, such as the environment, water testing and cosmetics, and to become a reference in DNA extraction and biomolecular detection technologies.

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