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Week 5 – Reflections

Hope all is going well. I would like to start out this week by sending our thoughts and prayers for the people in Ukraine. We have a partner that we work with who is from Ukraine (who has family back home) so it makes it even more real. What is going on there is such an atrocity. It is scary to think that if it could happen there, it could happen here. Sadly, we have some serious divisions in our country so it is not out of the realm of possibility. I could not imagine walking out of my home to see an occupying force or soldiers controlling our every move like some of the cities in Ukraine are beginning to experience. It reminds me of a quote that I saw in the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. that has never left me. It is by Martin Niemöller, a Lutheran minister and early Nazi supporter who was later imprisoned for opposing Hitler's regime. He went on to write:

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out- Because I was not a Socialist. Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out- Because I was not a Trade Unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out- Because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me-and there was no one left to speak for me.

I am so inspired and encouraged by the bravery and resiliency of the Ukrainian people. The world is supporting your fight for freedom. Light will always triumph over darkness.

These events really make you reflect on all different aspects of your life. Unrelated events like my crashing computer also make you reflect as well (thank God for a great backup system). This forced me to look through some business and research files from long ago. There were some files when we started the business in 2003, from grants we wrote through getting the business set up. You somewhat forget how much work it took to get where you are at now since you are constantly in the grind. I think of being a parent. Tina and I look at our 27- and 24-year-old “children” and

wonder how did we get through all of the different stages with them. I think it is similar for BioSurfaces. I looked back at some files where I was trying to plan in the event things did not go so well. It is a feeling that only a business owner really knows. I still can vividly feel and see those times. It is a pressure and sense of duty that can be overwhelming. When I worked for someone early in my career, I never understood those feelings. I also looked at all of the planning we’ve done as we look to grow this company. While sometimes it can feel like a waste of time when things don’t work out, it is important to have in place for times like now when real opportunities are presenting themselves.

There were also some files I was reviewing related to technology we’ve developed that, while it is not so prevalent on our website, doesn’t make it less important. I figured I would begin to highlight a few of these “long-lost” technologies.

Sadly, some of the companies that we worked with to develop some of these applications are out of business. It does make me appreciate that BioSurfaces has been able to stay in business all of these years. Today’s focus is on orthopedic devices (devices in contact with bone), something that doesn’t get a lot of visibility from us. It’s an area our team worked on several years ago based on interest from several large device companies looking for improvements on current technology. For these devices, which need to be uber strong, our Bio-Spun™ materials were combined with existing devices in order to maintain strength while providing improved healing properties and potential drug delivery. Being able to combine our technology with existing technologies is a benefit of electrospinning. The suture anchor allows bone and tissue to be attached together whereas the suture stay prevents suture from being cut by sharp areas of the damaged bone. Adding the

Bio-Spun™ material to these products would allow bone or tissue ingrowth to better heal these devices. Bone pins, which penetrate through the skin into the bone, are used to attach bones together to allow them to heal. Issues with current bone pins are they can release from the bone since they do not anchor well and the skin insert area can get infected. Having our Bio-Spun™ material loaded with antibiotic coated onto existing bone pins would increase healing while preventing bacterial infection. These technologies are available to explore further with the right partner.

I am happy to report that #FactualFriday is doing well. If you have not checked it out yet, please head over to any of our social medias to do so. It’s great to be able to provide information on some different topics in between our blog posting. Make sure to check out our next #FactualFriday March 11th.

We’ll see you back here on March 18th.



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