Week 33 – Summah is Almost Ovah!
Hope everyone is doing well and is safe and healthy. You may be thinking that my spellcheck is broken but I figured I would pay a little homage to my home state. Sometimes I even catch myself speaking like this. As I was thinking about the blog’s title and I said it out loud (which for those of you not from Massachusetts who read the blog, this statement translates into “summer is almost over”), I realize that I really am from Massachusetts. Not sure why I have this accent but I sure have come to embrace it over the years when people love to guess where I am from. But I digress. This week, like the last several weeks, has flown by which means summer is drawing ever so much closer to the end. Such a bummah (bummer)!
At the company, one major sign of this is that the summer interns have begun to make their way back to their respective institutions (or are beginning to plan on how to stay away from mom and dad while taking their classes online). This was the first year in the company’s 17+ years in existence that we did not celebrate their internship as a group. We did a social d
istance celebration for their time spent here but it was just not the same. We did not even get a group photo to remember the crew by before they left. COVID-19 was not going to ruin that tradition. After some thought, we realized we could treat this time just like we have since the beginning of March and do a zoom call and get our photo that way. It was a unique way (compared to our previous photos) of getting everyone together. We figured we would get two photos: one that showed their full faces that we didn’t see much during the internship and the one that we saw every day with each of them donning their masks. I can honestly say that I would never have guessed that we would be incorporating masks as a way of life. Just like a car seat belt, we have come accustomed to wearing it. Tina and I were not sure we would be able to host interns this year (making this decision was not easy), but by following the safety precautions set by
CDC and Governor Charlie Baker (who has done an outstanding job making our safety his number one concern), we were able to host these students without any issues. While there is no such thing as “no risk”, we were fortunate to be able to mitigate the risk as much as possible. I am glad to report that we were able to have a successful program, with both the students and us getting a lot out of the summer. It is now a lot quieter in the company and you really miss them when they are gone.
We were excited to release our second webcast this week about perianal fistulas. We hope that you are enjoying the new platform to share information about our technology. We have a lot more topics that we are interested in covering and are even thinking about hosting a Facebook Live session to allow us to interact directly with our audience. Our recent press release about Corning continues to bring significant interest from many different groups. We are looking to release new changes to our website next week for researchers seeking to try our new 96-well cell culture insert plate that contains a Bio-Spun™ electrospun membrane. We have already provided some samples to groups that we are currently working with on a regular basis. We will soon open that opportunity to others. We are already beginning to look at other plate constructs such as 24-well cell culture insert plates as well as inserts into standard cell culture plates. We are looking to provide many different options as we begin to ramp up production. A lot to get accomplished over the upcoming months.
We continue to move forward on several other fronts from evaluating how different cells interact with our electrospun materials that comprise our medical devices to how our drug-loaded electrospun materials release a target drug and provide local effects over an extended period of time. We continue to develop and refine equipment for research and manufacturing processes as well as are planning for potential future changes at the company. We have a lot of different areas we are pursuing so it is an exciting time to be at the company. We look forward to sharing more details about this work in the near future when we can hopefully let the next “cat” out of the bag.
Continue to stay vigilant and keep social distancing, wear a mask where social distancing is not possible to protect yourself and those around you and frequently wash your hands. It is too easy to go backwards if we do not all pull together. Getting back to some sort of real normal depends on it. The evidence is overwhelming that masks have a positive effect on controlling the virus. Even a simple test shows the benefit of how a mask protects those around you (https://www.today.com/video/this-simple-test-will-show-how-effective-your-face-mask-is-90359877714). Keep supporting your local businesses as they continue to work through these challenging times. Many of these businesses are nowhere near out of the woods yet and won’t be for a while.