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MSU technology spin-out company to market portable biohazard detection
Date:1/27/2012

EAST LANSING, Mich. --- A new company formed around Michigan State University nanotechnology promises to move speedy detection of deadly pathogens and toxins from the laboratory directly to the field.

Food contamination and other biohazards present a growing public health concern, but laboratory analysis consumes precious time. The company, nanoRETE, will develop and commercialize an inexpensive test for handheld biosensors to detect a broad range of threats such as E. coli, Salmonella, anthrax and tuberculosis.

A significant leap forward in detection and diagnostic technology, it utilizes novel nanoparticles with magnetic, polymeric and electrical properties developed by Evangelyn Alocilja, MSU professor of biosystems and agricultural engineering and chief scientific officer of nanoRETE.

"Our unique preparation, extraction and detection protocol enables the entire process to be conducted in the field, without significant training," Alocilja said. "Results are generated in about an hour from receipt of sample to final readout, quickly identifying contaminants so that proper and prompt actions can be taken."

The mobile technology comes at only a fraction of the cost of the closest currently available competing technology, company officials said.

"Although the technology originates from research for biodefense applications, its potential reaches far beyond the initial scope," said Fred Beyerlein, CEO of nanoRETE. "Our X-MARK platform-based technology has the ability to detect multiple pathogens or toxins at one time, in a rapid, point-of-use, cost-effective manner. Imagine the potential applications for food growers, packagers or sellers. Contaminated food or water could be quickly identified, isolated and resolved before reaching the ultimate consumer you or me."

nanoRETE is backed by Michigan Accelerator Fund I, a Grand Rapids, Mich., investment partnership focused on Michigan-based early sta
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Contact: Sandy Cameron
camer101@msu.edu
517-884-1828
Michigan State University
Source:Eurekalert  

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