Innovative super-fast microbe detection unit gets to market

Coventry-based Cytecom saved time and money getting their microbe detection unit to market by accessing testing equipment and expertise at WMG, to enable CE certification. Thank you WMG for sharing this case study for the Innovation Tracker!


Cytecom develop and manufacture units for the detection of microbes and the study of the electrophysiology of the single-celled organism. A spin-out of the University of Warwick School of Life Sciences, Cytecom’s customer base includes medical laboratories and water treatment firms. The CyteCount is a portable detection system, permitting rapid microbial detection. The main innovation involves combining fluorescent time-lapse microscopy with a bespoke detection device and mathematical model. 


The detection system was at the pre-production stage and needed CE certification to be sold in the EU before it could go to market. Cytecom contacted WMG for their product testing and certification expertise. Dave Norman, Technology Transfer Engineer in WMG’s SME Group, used the Laplace Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) Test Chamber to perform a radiated emissions and immunity test according to European Standard EN 55011:2016+A1:2017. This covers industrial, scientific, and medical equipment tests to get it market-ready. The tests identify radio-frequency disturbance. Electrical devices must not interfere with other electrical devices or be impacted by other devices which might disrupt its ability to be a useful measuring unit.

Tests typically cost more than £1000, often prohibitively expensive for technology start-ups. In addition to this, key skills were transferred to Cytecom to help with electrical shielding techniques and invaluable EMC design for wiring and cabling. The project was also funded by the ERDF funded Digital Innovation for Manufacturing programme.

Conor Edwards, Product Development Manager at Cytecom, commented, “We wanted to progress with our unit despite working on it during the Covid-19 2020 pandemic. When we read about Humane Technologies working with WMG, we asked them if they could help us in the same way.”


  • We created an EMC Project Report which gave Cytecom confidence to have their system tested at an accredited EMC test facility knowing it will pass the radiated emissions and immunity tests.
  • The report was also used as part of their product technical report, which allows them to complete the product declaration of conformity and hence CE mark the product.
  • The CyteCount passed all the tests and will be launched as a brand new product on the market on 01/11/2020.

Conor added: “The knowledge that our product would pass the certification before paying out was really useful, and meant we could put more resources into making the CyteCount accessible to a wider market.”

Dave Norman commented: “The product Cytecom have created is so innovative, and they were a pleasure work through their needs. We can’t wait to see their product thrive in the marketplace.”

Watch this space for future updates…

Read the press release