Happy New Year! Tina and I hope that you and your family had a safe, happy and healthy holiday season. It was nice to be able to have some time to breathe a little bit. Before I dive into the first blog of 2022, I would like to let you know that we will be releasing a new animation video related to our cell chamber technology next Friday, January 14th. Similar to our last animation for our NuSpun™ Vascular Graft, the Bio-Spun™ Cell Chamber animation video will provide you with an overview of the medical need, what the device looks like, how the device works and potential future uses for the device in 2 minutes and 32 seconds. Great job by the Life Science Animation team for putting this animation together! I am always amazed at how they can take what information we provide them (which is not always straight-forward) and turn it into a simple story board that anyone can understand. Science, as I’ve mentioned before, tends to get a bad rap for being too hard to understand. These types of tools are helpful in getting more people to see that science shouldn’t scare you (well, at least I think so).
With Thanksgiving falling late last year, it seems like so much was crammed into the days leading up to the Christmas holiday. Of course, some of this craziness was self-inflicted. As many of you know, I set some resolutions at the beginning of last year related to the business front and I was still trying to see if I could get maybe one or two of those in. Truth be told, I was happy to accomplish 7 out of the 10 resolutions I set for myself so can’t be too unhappy about that. Unfortunately, I was not successful in doing so but I was able to set the foundation for possibly getting some of these done in the first few months of this year. Like so many companies and individuals, we are up against all of the issues that COVID brings, from slow response times from companies to long wait periods for supplies. In spite of these issues, we accomplished a lot last year. I am very excited about what 2022 could be for the company (Resolution 8 – Don’t be afraid to dream and Resolution 9 – Think big!)!
One of the nice things about writing this blog is that you have a written record that you can go back to and reflect on what you were thinking about at a similar time in the past. I remember writing at this time last year that I worried about not being as active in the business over the holiday break as I should have been. As a small business owner, you always feel this way. You always feel you could be doing more and that it could be moving faster. With all that has transpired in terms of the pandemic, it has made me rethink on these feelings and have not allowed myself to feel as guilty when I am enjoying some down time. I need to understand (easier said than done) that nothing could really be done during this time and that whatever could have been accomplished could wait another week until the New Year. I am proud to say, that even though I did some work over the break, I did find it more enjoyable taking the time off in terms of not worrying about not being productive. It was important to me to really appreciate how precious time is and to live in the moment a little more than usual (I am always thinking 20 steps ahead and sometimes miss the here and now). This pandemic should be a lesson to all of us to really appreciate life. I hope you were able to feel the same feeling.
What I did brace for, based on all of the work we put in during December, was that we were going to hit the ground running on January 3rd. I am glad that we did. We had some very good meetings this week with potential strategic partners. It is always exciting to me when I have the opportunity to discuss all of the achievements of our team when I present some of our promising data we have developed over the years. As I relayed in one of my conversations this week, I am starting to “forget” some of the data we’ve generated since we have done so much over the past 18 years. I always hope that when I have these discussions, they can feel the passion I have for what we do. We want to find a good partner that shares this same passion and believes in what we do as a company. I strongly believe that we will find this group and I am hopeful that it will be relatively soon. We are speaking with several that fit this mold. Now we need to get this to the finish line.
For the first time in a long while (at least 3 years), we submitted a small business grant application to fund research that we are doing related to our Bio-Spun™ scaffold business. It was a full team effort. While the odds of receiving funding for these types of grants is low (less than 25%), it is worth the time and energy to submit. We have been fortunate to receive several of these grants in the past, which helped us to really develop different applications for technology. The benefit of receiving this grant would be that we could develop 3D tissue models such as lung and skin on our Bio-Spun™ scaffolds. This data would be used to help customers of the company grow specific tissue for their needs using our Bio-Spun™ scaffolds. We’ll see how it goes. On top of these areas, we also got ourselves back in the lab to begin working on the ongoing programs, both internal ones and ones for our partners. Always enjoy that part of my week.
We’ll see you back here on January 17th. Stay safe!