Rushford Company Produces Devices to Quickly Test for Diseases

March 30, 2018 07:52 PM

(ABC 6 News) -- According to the World Health Organization, more than 400,000 people died from malaria last year.

But a company in Rushford is developing a device that may put a dent in that number.  


The first time we introduced you to Rushford NanoBioMedical Instruments was late last year after it created a faster test for the chronic wasting disease.

Kevin Klungtvedt, the president and CTO of the company says it’s expanding on that technology and it could soon be used to detect malaria and other diseases much more quickly. 

"Originally we were just gonna do this with the chronic waste disease but as we developed and added more, we're announcing we're looking at things like malaria and cholera and Ebola,” said Klungtvedt.

Jeff Michelfelder, the executive president for sales and marketing with Rushford NanoBioMedical Instruments has developed a device he says can detect those diseases.

"We bought the process from the University of Delaware. This process enables us to deposit the nanoparticles. And by doing that we can enhance the Elisa test with portability, more sensitivity, and also rapid testing,” said Michelfelder.

The Elisa test is the traditional test used to detect nearly 200 different diseases. The problem is it can take up to a week to get results. RNI says its device, which doesn't have a name yet, will do the same thing in just 30 minutes. They say the faster the diagnosis, the sooner treatment can start. 

"The technology is there. It just wasn't buildable because people didn't know how to efficiently, economically build the particles,” said Klungtvedt.

The Rushford based company says it has completed a "proof of concept" which shows its device works.

This week it shared the technology with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We reached out to the CDC Friday. It declined to comment.

We also reached out to Mayo Clinic to see what it thought of the device. Its response was "we don't comment on products or speculate on what we might or might not do unless we were involved in the development or research."

Still, RNI has high hopes the device will help save lives if and when it's approved for use.

"Non-medical professionals will be able to utilize this wherever the need is,” said Michelfelder.

"At the end of the day you gotta have something that will help people,” added Klungtvedt.

The company says the device should be ready in a few months but it will need to go through some regulations. 

Meanwhile, the device to test for chronic wasting disease in deer should be on the market next year.  


Roxanne Elias

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