Shares in Material Technologies Inc. gained more than 30 percent early Thursday after Wall Street took notice of the company in the wake of the deadly bridge collapse in Minneapolis.

The Los Angeles-based company has developed a technology that its Chief Executive Robert Bernstein, says can detect metal fatigue in bridges and other structures possibly helping to prevent such disasters as the bridge collapse Wednesday that killed four and left more than 30 missing.

"We've proven the technology. It's just a matter of growing the customers and making the business an operating business as opposed to an R & D; business," Bernstein told the Business Journal in a recent interview prior to the Minneapolis tragedy.

The company's chief engineer Brent Phares appeared in an interview Wednesday night on Fox News commenting about the catastrophic bridge collapse.

"As authorities analyze the collapse and determine its cause ... they will have to come to terms with the fact that bridge failures are not isolated, rare events, and that the risk of new tragedies from unseen metal fatigue inevitably grows as steel bridges age," Phares said.

Phares also said a study by the Federal Highway Administration found more than 90 percent of fatigue cracks were missed with visual inspection and added that over the past decade, on average, there has been one bridge failure in the U.S. every week.

Shares in Material Technologies gained 32cents, or 31 percent, in afternoon trading Thursday on the Over the Counter Bulletin Board.

To read the Business Journal's profile on the company from last month, click here .

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