Biomaterials Research

Made in New Jersey

Women’s Fund of NJ

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These articles were prepared for the November 8, 2000 edition of

U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.

Market Research Advice from Librarian

Can market research for a start-up’s business plan be

anything more than fuzzy pie-in-the sky statistics? After all, when

Princeton Forrestal Village was built, market research

"proved"

that this area could support a center devoted to shops found on Fifth

Avenue, but experience proved otherwise. Now Forrestal Village is

a factory direct center.

Those in the research business insist that, if you know where to look,

you can make accurate predictions. Entrepreneurs can learn research

tips from a professional librarian at the New Jersey Entrepreneurs

Forum at McAteer’s Restaurant on Easton Avenue in Somerset on

Thursday,

November 9, at 6:30 p.m. Cost: $45. Call Jeff Milanette at

908-789-3424.

For the workshop entitled "Market Research for Your Successful

Business Plan," Milanette will set the stage, telling why market

research for a business plan is important and what to think about

when preparing the market section of a plan. "Every year we say

it’s important to have market research, but this will be the first

time in several years that we will address how to find the

information,"

says Milanette.

Ka-Neng Au, a business librarian from Rutgers’ Dana Library

in Newark, will provide the nuts and bolts tips. A graduate of the

University of Guelph in Ontario, Class of 1984, he has an MLS from

Rutgers (973-353-5901, E-mail: au@newark.rutgers.edu).

Au cautions that the Dana Library is not set up to provide business

advice but to work with Rutgers students who are doing business plans

for course credit. "We do take referrals from the U.S. Small

Business

Development Center here in Newark," he says. "Small businesses

who go there receive counseling, and when they are referred to us,

we have a sense that they have been walked through some steps."

Suppose someone who wants to open an accounting consulting office

asks what Fortune 1000 companies are in Princeton. "The question

sounds innocent enough," says Au. "The Fortune 1000 list is

easy enough to get, but it lists only the corporate headquarters.

You have to take the list and match it with the companies in your

area."

Even then, you wouldn’t know whether services are done inhouse, Au

points out. Look at your trade group’s list to find out who else is

in your area already. "If there are already at least 400 CPAs,

why does your town need another CPA?"

"There are no canned answers. We usually want to sit down and

have a nice long chat," says Au, telling what happens when an

entrepreneur asks for business plan advice. "One question usually

leads to a dozen other questions. We pull out some books and point

them to some websites. Some information is available only in

print."

The information may be free or may cost as much as several hundred

dollars.

A summary of the information that is in Au’s head is contained on

this website (www.libraries.rutgers.edu). Click on reference shortcuts

on the left and go to the business section

(www.libraries.rutgers.edu/rul/rshortcuts.shtml).

The website has direct links to free and for-pay directories on the

‘Net and also to the directories that are only in hard copy but may

be available at local libraries.

Confronted with the inaccurate predictions for Princeton Forrestal

Village, Au lays out the research plan that could have produced a

more accurate forecast. Check the household income figures for the

adjacent counties to find that Princeton has high household income.

Then get the source book of retail sales, called Demographics USA,

and look at the actual expenditures in each county or each zip code.

These expenditures are broken down in six or seven major sectors.

"You can see how much is being spent in each county," says

Au. As the developers of Forrestal Village learned to their dismay,

Princeton people are not ostentatious spenders, and when they do shop

for upscale merchandise, they are likely to do their shopping in New

York.

"But it will not be a foolproof answer," cautions Au,

"unless

you conduct a detailed survey of the residents in the area."

In spite of the help that he gives to entrepreneurs and students over

the years, Au says he almost never hears the results, yet he would

relish the feedback. "If they tell us we did a bad job or good

job, then we can improve our services," he says.

— Barbara Fox

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Biomaterials Research

Just as Central Jersey is a center for pharmaceutical

and biomedical research, so too it has a hefty sprinkling of

biomaterials

companies. Biomaterials — any materials used within or upon the

body — underlie many new and developing medical applications,

including stimulation of new tissue growth, delivery of drugs and

chemotherapy in targeted ways, and delivery of genetic material.

Although many of these applications are still in the research phase,

the projection for one biomaterials application, tissue engineering,

is that in 5 to 10 years it will be a $60 billion industry, says

Carole

Kantor, associate director of the New Jersey Center for

Biomaterials

at Rutgers.

Scientists working in biomaterials science will speak at the fifth

New Jersey Symposium on Biomaterials Science, sponsored by the Center

for Biomaterials. The keynote speaker is Joseph Vacanti, of

Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital, who will

discuss the materials needs of the tissue engineering field. The

symposium

runs from Thursday, November 9, at 9 a.m. to Friday, November 10,

at 3:45 p.m. For information, call 732-445-0488. To register, call

973-972-4267.

"Contact with the body determines whether something is a

biomaterial,"

explains Kantor. Anything implanted in body, such as a joint

replacement,

a heart valve, or a shunt, is a biomaterial, as are materials placed

on the body, like a nicotine or other drug-carrying patches or even

a contact lens.

Historically, people have been using materials inside the body that

were never intended for biomedical purposes, like silicone, a

lubricant

developed in the 1930s, or Dacron, a textile that has been used to

replace blood vessels. But things are changing. "What scientists

have been doing for last 30 years is to develop materials specifically

for biomedical applications, rather than using materials left over

from petroleum applications," explains Kantor.

This type of science is more feasible today, because of advances in

basic knowledge and technology. For example, far better methods of

imaging are available, allowing scientists to look at materials in

the laboratory and examine cells as they are grown on these materials.

This information is then used to develop better materials for specific

cell types. Materials that stimulate bone growth, for example, will

probably be different from those meant to stimulate the development

of blood vessels.

Most scientific and clinical work on biomaterials today is focused

on tissue engineering and drug delivery; a third area, the delivery

of genetic material, is being worked on in the laboratory only.

Tissue engineering refers to biomaterials that stimulate

the body to replace tissue that has been lost due to illness or

trauma.

"Rather than replacing the tissue with an inert material like

titanium," explains Kantor, "the goal is to use a material

that will stimulate natural tissue growth so that the body can repair

itself." Different bodily tissues will require different

specialized

biomaterials to stimulate regrowth. Biomaterials have been used

effectively

for tissue regrowth in bones and on skin. Research continues on the

regrowth of blood vessels, muscles, and cartilage, as well as the

particularly challenging areas of ligaments and nerves.

Integra Life Sciences on Morgan Lane is a leader in tissue

engineering.

Drug delivery Drugs can be delivered to specific areas

of the body in a targeted way by using biomaterials. The drugs are

implanted in a sponge or matrix material that degrades and releases

the drug over a period of time. One simple example is controlled

release

cold medications, where a capsule opens up within the body and the

little pellets inside dissolve at different times. A related

biomaterial

is a chemotherapy product on the market for brain tumors. Following

excision of a tumor, a disk of this material is left in the brain;

it releases the chemotherapeutic agent exactly where it is supposed

to act, thus avoiding many of the side effects that occur when

chemotherapy

is administered systemically.

Therics at University Square is working on controlled release

techniques.

Genetic materials can be bound in polymers for delivery

in various genetic therapies. These materials exist in the laboratory

only, where scientists are reporting that they have bound DNA in

polymer

biomaterials and delivered it in animals to cells.

To develop these biomaterials applications, explains Kantor,

"the ability to tailor the properties of the materials is

important."

For example, their stiffness, their elasticity, the temperature at

which they become flexible or solidify, and how they degrade in a

liquid environment can all be critical in different applications.

If a surgeon wants to repair a muscle defect caused by a trauma,

injecting

it with a gel-like material that will become stiffer when it reaches

body temperature may be quite effective. In his laboratory at Rutgers,

Joachim Kohn creates new polymer or plastic materials that can

be adjusted in various ways to make them suitable for different

applications.

Carole Kantor graduated from Barnard College in 1962 with a bachelor’s

in physics and received her masters in physics from Rutgers

University.

She has been working with the New Jersey Center for Biomaterials since

1992 as both a medical research administrator and a medical science

writer. The Center is supported by Rutgers, UMDNJ, and the New Jersey

Institute of Technology. Another major supporter is the New Jersey

Commission on Science and Technology.

The Center works closely with industry on research and development

projects; it brings together faculty teams from the three public

research

universities, as well as from Princeton and Stevens Institute of

Technology.

Although biomaterials research has many important medical

applications,

some companies appear slow to climb on the bandwagon. "Many drug

companies are still very much in the traditional means of delivering

drugs," says Kantor. "Only the ones with particularly forward

looking research and development people think it is worth working

with us at this stage."

— Michele Alperin

Top Of Page
Made in New Jersey

The New Jersey Business & Industry Association will

give goody bags of state-made items for "Made in New Jersey

Day"

on Thursday, November 9, in the lobbies at the State House. Among

the exhibits, starting at 8:30 a.m., will be china bathroom fixtures

from American Standard, artistic china from Boehm Porcelain, tire

inserts for military vehicles from Boehm Porcelain, and residential

furnaces and coals from the Trane Company — all of Trenton. For

information call 609-393-7707.

Top Of Page
Women’s Fund of NJ

A gala for the Women’s Fund of New Jersey honors women

in the financial industry and proceeds will support women’s

organizations.

The gala is scheduled for Forsgate Country Club on Thursday, November

9, at 6 p.m. Cost: $150. Call 908-851-7774.

The fund is a federation of organizations that support 17 worthy

charities,

from rape crisis counseling and breast cancer research to the League

of Women Voters. The fund raises and distributes money to the

charities

through payroll deduction campaigns.

Among the honorees are Subha Barry and Marsha Jones of

Merrill Lynch; Susanne Svizeny and Pam Lolley, regional

presidents of First Union; Kathy Wielkopolski, CFO/COO of Gale

& Wentworth; Cheryl B. Ellis, executive vice president of

Fleet Bank; Cheryl Da Velga, a partner at KPMG: Lori Evangel,

managing director of MBIA Insurance Corporation; Nanette O. Lee,

senior vice president and director of Summit Bank; Sharon Lamont,

president of the New Jersey Society of CPAs; Daria Piacitella,

managing director of PNC Bank; and Veronica T. Gilbert, senior

vice president of City National Bank.


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