Heroes of Healthcare
Heroes of Healthcare

Episode · 1 month ago

The Hidden Manufacturers of COVID-19 Tests

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Capillary flow membranes are the base for both Covid and pregnancy tests. Once sprayed with a protein solution, they act as a key indicator by changing colors when in contact with the right compounds.  

In this episode, head of product management for diagnostic manufacturing materials at MilliporeSigma, Shawn Gaskell explains the creation processes for these tests, their evolution during the pandemic, and how they might revolutionize medicine in the near future.  

Join us as we discuss:

- The deployment of rapid Covid-19 tests

- The expansion of telehealth technologies

- How Technology will help alleviate the doctor-shortage 

To hear this interview and more like it, follow Heroes of Healthcare on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts. 

Listening on a desktop & can’t see the links? Just search for Heroes of Healthcare in your favorite podcast player.

And when you think, well, how do rapid tests play a part in that, Well, you break your army, of course you broke your arm, you're not going to test for it. But when you think about concussions and sports, you think about, gosh, my my chest kind of hurts. Did I have a heart attack? And if you can't get to the hospital. Our customers and the market itself are looking to develop tests that are detecting those bio markers, things that your body produces after a concussion or after a heart attack. There's certain proteins that are circulating around your body that these tests are now are are very soon able to detect. And again and instead of going to an emergency room, you can now are are very soon be able to detect whether or not you had a concussion or had a heart attack, and then get further care based on that analysis or diagnosis. You were listening to Heroes of Healthcare, the podcast that highlights bold, selfless professionals in the healthcare industry focused on transforming lives in their communities. Let's get into the show. Welcome to the Heroes of Healthcare podcast. I'm your host Ted Wayne. On today's episode, we're going to delve into an area that we are expanding upon in the coming months, which is what we're calling Tech and Healthcare, identifying those heroes who are trailblazing away to find new technologies to more easily administer broader care. With the shortage of clinical staff and the increase in physician burnout, one of the important ways healthcare is going to be able to keep up is through technology and identity, defying a more efficient way to distribute care. We're joined today by Shaun Gaskin, director of head Diagnostic Manufacturing Materials with the in vitro Diagnostic and critical raw Materials business at Millapor Sigma. Millaport Sigma specializes in the manufacturing and distribution of specialized medical materials such as membranes that are in many of the medical tests and devices we used today. As Sean puts it there, the intel in side your medical tests, most notably the use of lateral flow membranes that are the crucial aspect of any home diagnostic tests such as your home pregnancy and more recently home COVID tests. They're the leading spearheading the revolutionary practice of keeping people safe. Let's get into the show. Welcome to the Heroes of Healthcare Podcast. Shaan Gaskill, thanks for joining us. All right, thanks for having me looking forward to this. This is um something we're a little new for us here, but an area we want to continue to delve into, which is more on the development technology medical tech and some of the new discoveries coming out. Every time I look on the paper and stuff, I see something new in AI and and life sciences and things like that. So we're excited to get into hearing what Laport Sigma's doing and what you guys are doing and how it's impacting all of us. Before we jump in, though, Sean, can you give it tell the listeners a little bit about yourself and you're background and how you got into this business.

Sure. Yeah, Well I went to school for mechanical engineering. After graduation, I went into an engineering consulting company, worked for the Department of Defense and DARPA doing various contracts and and pretty interesting stuff les lethal device development, and one of those projects included a web shot net. It was a caption that used to capture people. They're really interesting. So it's almost like a Spider Man situation where you developed this kevlar nett, this material that's what we call bulletproof to use in bulletproof vests, and we were we had to design it in a way that would capture suspects or people that were trying to flee or harm of course individuals. So we did that for a while, probably about two or three years. Then I actually moved to Australia, lived there for about a year, did a lot of random work travel. I wanted to see a good portion of the East coast of Australia and I did that. I moved back in two thousand one. I actually joined Millaport. Millpoor at the time was a stand the loan company and I worked there as a process engineer, working on device production lines in our Puerto Rico and Ireland facilities. After that, I moved into memory manufacturing, and then from there, after several years there, I went into product management or marketing. Been there since. That's awesome. I that Uh, I'll have to talk later. I want to hear about your Australia trip. Always had always think that's uh fascinating, and you know, I love with Mark Twain. I think said, if you can't get an education, travel one of the best things you can do to educate yourself is to travel. So let's talk about I'm sure you know Milliport Sigma is not a household name. It's not like klean X or Lysol or something like that. So why don't you tell us a little bit about Millport Sigma in terms of the size, I mean, the size and the kind of scope of the company, but also what you guys manufacture, and then we'll get into a little bit more about this significance of that. Sure. So, Millport Sigma is a life science division of Mark kg A A out of Darmstadt, Germany, not to be confused of the American company, which is a separate company based in the United States. Back in two thousand ten, Mark kg A out of Darmstadt, Germany, acquired Millaport and then a few years later acquired Sigma Aldridge, which is a company out of St. Louis, Missouri. They combined the two companies, Milliport and Sigma Aldrich and what we now know as Milliport Sigma mainly because they were both were both focused on life science products and and serving that industry. So our company now, of course focuses on science and technology. Are at least the life science division does and We provide the tools and services that drug discovery drug manufacturing companies need to develop and deliver vaccines and other pharmaceutical products to the market. So I kind of describe it as you're kind of the parts in the part sometimes and or the or your the technology to get to the to get to the part. You know, you here about something. Sometimes there's an...

...investment strategy where the companies you invest in the companies that don't make the big product, but make all the components of the product. That's right, it's like the intel inside. Yeah, we are producing the components used. So not many of the general public would see our products unless you work in a scientific lab or a man faction facility where you're using our roal material components in some way, shape or form or finished goods. We do make filtration devices that are used for upstream, downstream processing of pharmaceutical or bioprocessing components. So tell us a little bit about what is the what are some of the big products you guys have, And obviously most recently you are becoming a household product, unfortunately due to COVID, but you are becoming a household product. But most people don't even know you're in there, right, you are the intel inside. That's the good. That's the good analogy. Yeah, yeah. So so I oversee a group of product lines that we call diet nastic manufacturing materials. So one of those product lines is a lateral flow membrane product. And that membrane is and that many people know is the little white part you see on a prency test strip. So when you look down the priancy test, you'll see a white space and then usually either two red or two blue lines show up if you're pregnant, only one if you're not. And that white part is the really the foundation of a rapid flow of rapid test. More recently, during the pandemic, they became known as the rapid engine tests. And those products, of course, we're used very simply, very easily by the general public. He didn't need a medical degree to to use one of these tests determine if you actually had COVID. While you may have had symptoms, maybe you were sick with just a regular cold, maybe you had influenza or something else. So you'd use one of these rapid tests to determine if you in fact had the COVID disease. And these products of became very popular over the past couple of years, but before that they were just simply known as prancy test kits, and if those have been around for many years since the early nineties. So it's really it's great to see that the general public and overall usage of these, awareness of these, simplicity of them, and relatively inexpensive piece of this. So and again just my ignorance, and I'm just assuming that when you say lateral flow membrane, it's the fact that it can lay flat, it doesn't need gravity to pull it. Is that Is that the implication that's correct? Yeah, it uses capillary flow. So much like if you put a drop of water on a paper towel, you'll see it spread in all directions. That's capillary flow. It's going from a wet space or space, or a saturated space to a dry space through capillary action. And that's essentially how these tests work. What we call lateral flow membrane means it's moving from one side of the membrane to another through that capillary...

...action. So let's talk a little bit about and this is probably just the geek in me because I always want to stand so when I have when I have a COVID test and I get to, you know, swab my nose, my sinuses. Then I put it in the liquid, and then I put the liquid in the test thing, and then that gets drawn down. How does that membrane say, uh, that's COVID or that's not COVID or you know, how does how does that process work? Or even is my my father used to say, is how does it know? Yeah, yeah, no, great question. So our customers who are dynostic manufacturers of these I v D test kits, they prepare a solution. Usually it's a it's a protein solution, which what we call analytes there. Those proteins are analytes and they're sprayed down onto the membrane during the manufacturing process. So they're actually incorporating a certain target in that solution that is sprayed down in the membrane and then it dry. So when that sample that you just talked about, that you've taken a swab of your nose or your throat, you put into some sort of buffer or liquid solution, mix it up, and then you apply it to the rapid test. It gets drawn through as as you mentioned in the capiller reaction, and it goes down to the membrane across those areas that the manufacturer had pre deposited those proteins of those analytes onto the membrane, and within that solution, it comes into contact with other particles, other detector particles, all in the process. You can't see this with the naked eye, but it's happening inside that membrane structure, and it's connecting with all those different components. And if it's the right connection, if it's it's it's certainly looking for that specific element, specific protein deposited on that membrane. If it finds it, it connects almost like a magnet to it. So antibodies to antibodies, et cetera, and they stick together and they start to accumulate on those pre deposited lines that the manufacturer sprayed down, and so as as they accumulate, they become visible to the naked eye. So you'll see. That's why you see either one or two lines on a test trip one line if it's negative, too, if it's positive, the one line is the control line, just to show that the actual test is working properly other way it should and functioning appropriately. The second line in this case, it's it's um Usually the same color is the actual test line. So if that sample solution that you just put onto the memory and there on the test trip has the actual components that you're looking for. In this case, if you had COVID and it's looking for those proteins from from a COVID test. Positive test, those who collect on that test line and again accumulate to a point where you can visually see a positive line. So two lines if if it's positive, one line if it's negative. Right, and obviously saying same process for the pregnancy...

...tests. And the only thing is they've gotten fancier where they spray it on as a positive or negative, a plus sign of a negative sign. Right, Yeah, same exact technology, same concept, it's just the manufacturer puts on different in this case hCG hormone, the human cronionic quantadine protein that is found in women's urine who are pregnant, and that will then attach to that test line and show as a positive result. Got it, And again, maybe silly question, and I assume obviously the what has to happen is in the labs they have to identify the unique markers of a protein in a COVID virus versus the protein, and uh, you know something in a woman's body that is positive. So it has to look for that specific protein, not any protein, but it has to look for a specific protein, yep, exactly. So those manufacturers would come to companies like us, who we also provide those antibodies and another infectious disease panel components that they would spray down. So you can, in fact have more than one test looking for more than one type of analyte or or antibody in this case protein on a single test. And that is a way to kind of differentiate, say, for example, if you have covid symptoms, they can also be very similar to influenza or the flu symptoms, and therefore, well which one do I have very big difference. So you could actually that the manufacturers develop what they call multiplex tests, where you're actually running a parallel two or three different tests all at the same time in one single device, which is very convenient and allows the consumer again to test for two or three different potential infectious diseases all within a few you know, five or ten minutes time. So so in so just make sure I understanding. So the example could be and I'm thinking of the plastic strip that the plastic casing that you get either you see in a pregnancy test or you saw on the COVID tests, and you would do the same thing. Swab a throat, swab your nose, put it in a solution, drop it in, and the lateral flow membrane see them starting to sound smart. The lateral flow membrane draws it down and one of three or four lines might show up. So if it's blue, it says, well that's flu or if it's red, it means your COVID, or if it's green, it might mean rs V or something like that. Exactly. Yeah. Yeah, those those detective particles or what we call microspheres, we manufacture those products as well. We call them ESTO four beads. But they're a little tiny little microshers that you cannot see with the naked eye. But as again, as they're going through that membrane and they accumulate, they will attach to that detective particle they're looking for and the analyte they're looking for, and then accumulate on that line. As you say, we make different colors so that you can use those on the same test. So as you say, if...

...it's green, it shows up on one line, the other blue particles will show up on another, and that will tell the user if they're infected with multiple different diseases. So when is that multi multiplex available today or is that something that we're going to be Yes? Yeah, indeed. So they've been around for several years and it's really the industry's way, our customers, that diagnostic testket manufacturers way of delivering more to the market, delivering more to the end user, more to the customer. Not only does it help the manufacturers because they can absorb those costs under one strip instead of having you know, three different sets, three different housings, different materials, which is three times the expense. They can minimize that expense, that cost of goods onto one platform, one strip, and that saves the manufacturing money. But it also delivers more value to the customer because now that end user is paying not much more to get maybe two or three different tests on one strip. So it benefits both parties and it's a wonderful way of simplifying things. Again, you don't have to maybe go to a doctor's office and get these says. You can get them at the comfort of your own home. You can order on Amazon dot com or go to local pharmacy and have these ready in your in your supply closet if you do get sick tests instead of going out into the you know, the general public and not you know, infecting anyone else while you're trying to figure out what it is that ails you. Yeah, yeah, it's it's funny when you said that, it reminds me of when my uh my father had COVID and I took him to the hospital when he started getting worse and I wasn't expected, you know, I didn't think I was feeling fine, But there I sat in the waiting room with probably about forty infected people. You know, I said, I was in the COVID hot zone, you know, sort of a thing. And that's before those home tests were It was in the early times and they weren't as available all and and all of that sort of stuff. I remember when they first started saying that they were going to have a home test, and I guess Abbott was one of the first movers in that space. And I think I remembered hearing it was the city of Detroit was going to be the test pilot place for these tests. And then they had and then they had a low they started being reported as a low accuracy you know sort of rating. But you know now the now the home kits seem to be very acceptable. I mean PRC still seems to be more of the considered the more accurate standard, not to be the PCR. Excuse me, peace, not the PCR tests. So talk to me a little bit about that. What made it go from low low viability to higher confidence and do you think they'll ever catch up to the PCRs or how will that how does that work? Sure? So when these tests first came out, they were typically in the six month kind of time frame. Six months after COVID kind of took hold in the pandemic ensued,...

...you start to see these e ways emergency use authorizations from various regulatory agencies around the world, and it allowed those tests to be used in the general population. But historically, whenever you develop one of these rapid tests, it typically takes these dignostic manufacturers one to two years to develop run through trials, do clinical trials and studies prove that their efficacy is is high enough to be used for general use. That was fast forward, that was shrunk down and accelerated into a four to six month time frame. So with that came inaccuracies, inefficiencies, and they didn't have enough time to kind of debug and run through all the different ways of maybe understanding why they're not as accurate or as specific as they should be. So over time they did improve. The manufacturers continue to upgrade and improve the essay, which is what we call that protein solution that's sprayed down onto the membrane, that's called an essay, and that over time was improved to a point where you did improve the accuracy and specificity of what those tests were looking for to detect. So it was the was the ability to identify that protein with greater accuracy correct? Yes, and you can do that with a variety of ways. You can have blocking agents in that ass area, in that liquid that you spray down. You can have other components that are there to kind of impede the flow or block the flow, and that helps kind of filter out, if you will, no pun intended with these memoranes, filter out the what you're looking for versus what you're not looking for to give you either a positive or negative response. Whereas PCR is a molecula based it breaks down to the DNA or RNA in the sample, and therefore it's an exact replica of the actual virus itself, components in the virus that are detected. That's done in a lab environment. So you've you've heard folks that would go get a blood test or an pharyngerial swab and sent in for analysis PCR analysis that could tape upwards of twenty four four day even longer three days or more to get a result. Back in the meantime, you're actually supposed to sit in quarantine, not exposing yourself to anyone because you could be sick. While it's yes, it's a it's a gold standard, it causes a lot of inefficiencies and inconveniences to just sit around doing nothing while you're waiting for either positive negative result. Whereas these rapid tests, we'll give you a result in five or ten minutes. And and so the key, I guess too with the rapid tests. You know, I heard people people would say, oh, I was exposed to somebody today at work, and so I took a test home test tonight and I was negative. And the truth of the matter is you may not be negative. But the problem was when you swab, you didn't have enough of the virus in your in your...

...nose or wherever to be captured on the swab, so that while the strip might have caught a few of them and said it was not enough to validate, to lighten, to light the two bars, I guess is that is that accurate? It is it's spot on, so too really, in you don't have enough of the the antibodies being developed in your system to identify or to show up on one of these rapid tests. While the sensitivity is there, if you don't have enough fire load in your body, it won't pick it up. And that's why they do say to test and then test again, maybe a day or two later, because your body is still reacting to that. You've been exposed, you've been infected, but you're not showing any symptoms yet. And that's why they usually wait, tell you to wait until you see symptoms before you actually test, because if you don't see symptoms, you could be a carrier. But you're not. You're asymptomatic in that case, I meaning you're not showing anything any effects of the infection, right, so test but test again or weight And the beauty of that is with these rapid tests, you know, there really affordable. Whether they were free from the federal government in this case the United States, or you go and buy them at the store for maybe three or four pack for twenty bucks. They are affordable compared to say a PCR test, which can run in the hundreds of dollars per tests on top of any copay you have to pay with your primary care Sure, so does Millport Sigma. You just create the membrane for the flow, You're not creating the essay that goes on for the strip. That's make manufactured by different companies, that's right. That so those essays are the recipe, if you will, that the secret recipe that each of our customers developed. So yes, we provide those components where like the intel inside, you wouldn't see our name on the product, the finished product, but we provide a lot of those major components, including the lotter flumd membrane. One of those components of membrane itself we manufacture in our Cork, Ireland facility. But we've just actually kicked off a new project over the summer through the help of Department Offense and on behalf of Department of Health and Human Services in the United States government to build another manufacturing line, another casting line to make lotter of fund memorane here in the United States, actually in our Sheboygan, Wisconsin facility. So that'd be a first for us and to have that casting capability for a lot of Flund membranes in the United States and have that of course on multiple continents now, which is really exciting for us and for our customers. That's great. Yeah, So let's talk a little bit about where does this go. So you talked a little bit about the multiplex and that we're gonna be able to start to do more with one or multiple diagnoses with one. Obviously, the adoption of these beyond the pregnancy test has now become...

...that barrier kind of has been broken through with COVID. These are all the little positive things that come out of you know, COVID. You know, the telehealth has gotten you know, gotten really built up because of COVID. It just became a necessity. So a lot of those regulatory barriers got dropped and people saw that this works, and I'm sure that's kind of what's happening for you guys with this too. So what are some of the other applications that you're working with some of your partners with the develop Where else could we see this in the healthcare world? Yeah, this space is ever changing. We see other types of technologies coming to play into the market that you know considered a threat to the lateral flow technology. Some of them being micro fluidics, some of them being molecular testing, but portable or disposable molecular tests, which is similar to the pc are we just talked about. So the space is trying to get ever more sophisticated and how they can test for various illnesses. And to your point about telehealth, a lot of these companies now are are our customers are developing bluetooth technology tests that takes the human element or human potential for error out of the equation. And now you have these little electronic bio sensors miniature on these platforms, whether it's on a membrane or on a micro flutic platform, and it's sensing for those detective particles that we just talked about, and it's really in the information to your phone, and then that your phone is then on an app and it's uploading it to your primary care and informing them of what it found during that test. So you're seeing just the mobilization literally that the moving to a mobile platform something very easy to use, especially for their world countries where access to healthcare is very difficult, could be tens or hundreds of miles away to the closest hospital. Having that healthcare and literally in your hand is is a massive step forward for point of care, point of use and diagnosing any type of health ailment. Yeah. I think that it's really it's a it's a great point, it's interesting point, disability to get care to different places. So so I work with Jackson and Coker and we provide locum tenants and you know, one of our big areas of service is the rural communities, the rural communities who can't get the right doctor or can't get you know, a lot of primary care, but not a lot of specialty care. And we do We've done work in the past with the i h S, the Indian Health Services Group, and they run into this, you know challenge big time. I remember visiting one area. They said, if the doctor is sick and can't be there, the the closest clinic or anything is ninety miles. So, you know, and and as as as a parent, you think about when my my, my child's fallen off the swing set and probably broken their arm, and I all up...

...and they say, well the doctors not in today. Well, now I gotta drive ninety miles to the next piece of care. Obviously they can't set an arm through telehealth, but you know, to your point, the ability to provide these things too in other countries, but even here domestically, you know, some of these rural areas to have access to that sort of care through that mobility, and through that it becomes a big game changer. And then when you layer in on top of it that, you know the reports of increased physician burnout, the shortage in the market where short thirty thirty percent shortage of doctors in the US based upon demand post COVID surgical units are just overcapacity now trying to catch up. The more ability for us to do some of this mobility stuff just becomes more. It's gonna become more and more critical, it's gonna become necessary. It is. And you touched on a point about care and broken arm and when you think, well, how do rapid tests play a part in that? Well, you break your army as you broke your arm, you're not going to test for it. But when you think about concussions and sports, you think about, gosh, my my chest kind of hurts. Did I have a heart attack? And if you can't get to hospital, our customers and the market itself are looking to develop tests that are detecting those bio markers, things that your body produces after a concussion or after a heart attack. There's certain proteins that are circulating around your body that these tests are now are are very soon able to detect. And again and instead of going to an emergency room, as you mentioned before, waiting for hours maybe too to get in and be evaluated, get a cat scan or an X ray, you can now or are very soon be able to detect whether or not you had a concussion or had a heart attack, and then get further care based on that analysis or diagnosis. And this is rapid point of care use. This is not something you have to go into a hospital to get. So it's it's really exciting that all the science behind this is really taking leaps forward and putting the care into the hands of the consumer, which is very powerful and very convenient. Yeah, what do they say necessity is the mother of invention, right, you know, and I think and I think you're right. I think we're totally you know, people say to me, what do we do against this shortage of people? Well, we can't clone and and even if you did, Colonne, you still have to wait thirty years till they're out of medical school. So you know, you know, so unless there's a rapid incubation process, you know, we're not going to be able to get there. So we're gonna have to do this. You know. I think you're gonna see expanded capabilities within nurse practitioners and p a s. It's kind of not funny. The doctors argue that they're burnt out there having to stay too long, and they have to because there's so much demand, but yet they don't want to release the control to the nps and the p a s, which obviously that pendulum can swing too far and you have to make sure that that's got controls on it. But...

I think it's going to have to be things like AI, and it's gonna have to be things like these mobile sort of capabilities just to be able to meet the capacity and the demand of the market. Because we can't make more people, can't get people through the medical schools any faster than we're doing, so it's going to have to rely on technology exactly. These tools take a step out of the equation. It gets you that further down the road, and then once you have a diagnosis, then you can you're already ahead. You've accelerated that process of detection. I want to use the example of the ansar Anos is a company that is no longer. You may have heard in the news recently with Elizabeth Holmes on trial for fraud because that the company apparently didn't have the results that were they were claiming to have. But the idea was very simple to diagnose sixty or seventy different types of illness is potentially illnesses from one little finger drop of blood. And that's where the markets moving, even though this this company would did not tell they for that. That's the concept, that's where the market wants to go to. The visions they are there. Yeah. Yeah, So if you imagine that image, if you can go to your local pharmacy and just get a single fingerprick of blood and find out a hundred different things about it, whether it's your your your genes, genetic makeup. Are you predisposed for certain things, Maybe you should avoid certain foods, or maybe you have certain types of allergies that you didn't know about, or we're developing, or you feel sick, you don't feel right, maybe something's offer imbalanced, maybe you have low blood sugar, maybe your iron count as well. Imagine if you could do all that with just a simple drop, single drop of blood, And that's where the market wants to go. Do they want that simplicity, but again in the comfort either of your own home or in this case, in the rapid test, but also just going down to local pharmacy instead of waiting in line at a darks office or a hospital emergency room, and you can get all that done. That's where we want to go. Yeah, versus I during the COVID outbreak, if you called your primary care person and again early on the tests weren't there, The lines were wrapped around the building six times to test, and you called your primary care and said I think I have COVID, they'd say, go to the emergency room. And then you know, like I said, I went with my dad and there was I mean it was packed. They had ambulance, they were holding people and ambulances in the parking lot. Yeah, so that just to continues to show we've got to continue to develop these sorts of products and and these sorts of technologies things. So as we're kind of kind of coming around the wrapping up things here, the other question is how are you guys in terms of this membrane and working with the different partners you know, whether it be Abbot or any companies you know we've heard of and some of we have and probably who make these tests and they do this stuff. How are they working with you in terms of is the membrane fairly set, meaning that formula that we use to make that membrane is pretty that...

...recipe is pretty cooked. It's like the formula to Coca cola. We're not changing it. Or does that develop based upon feedback that the partners say, like we need this to flow faster, we need this to be slower. Are there are there adjustments you make or their variabilities within the product lines that you you offer, Yeah, that there are you and we do make adjustments. In fact, when customers come to us say, look, we like the product, but we'd like it to do this or go in this direction. Can you tweak it, can you modify in a way that's gonna be either slower flowing, faster flowing, maybe more sensitive, different chemistries that are applied to the memory itself before our customers apply their essays and their components, and we work with them to customize that customize those solutions to give them a better performing product, because in the end, if they're success, of course we're successful. But it's that tweaking. It's that customizable concept that we bring to the market that allows our customers to be even more successful. So it's not a one size fits all. It's not like you know, how many of these do you need? Obviously you're working collaboratively with each one of them based upon what they are seeing in in the market. Correct. Yeah, I would say the majority is what we often standard products. But for the ones that are struggling to say, you know, they know it works, but they want to work better, They want that specificity or the accuracy to go up during their clinical trials and they just can't tweak it enough with their own essay and their components. They then look at the other raw materials in the test trip and again that foundation is the membrane. So they often look to the membrane as is there a way to do something different with the membrane that it gets us even more or better performance. That's great, well, Sean, thanks thanks so much for taking some time today to talk to us a little bit about this. Like I said, I love those things that those things you don't think about, but then you learn more about it and it's fascinating to see and understand how that works there. So um, let's get you know, obviously, let will continue to stay touch and if there's anything new coming out, we always want to hear more about the new innovations and stuff that might be coming out, So please keep us in mind. Always always close each episode with my standard question, which is staying within the theme of the heroes of healthcare, who's your hero, whether it be when you're growing up or currently or does anybody kind of come to mind? Oh, absolutely, it would be my father. So my father was really a self made man. He grew up really from nothing on on a farm in a rural setting, but started his own business at a very young age, probably in the late teens, building or modeling and building custom homes. And he did that for thirty five four years his customers loved him. But he had a sense of adventure in him that was just given to me, whether genetically or just through the adventures he took us on. When I was thirteen, myself, my older brother and my father wrote our bicycles from Connecticut where I grew up, to Florida, so eight miles just for fun. This was not the back in the late eighties when it was just well, let's...

...just do this. And he had the time because he ran his own business to be able to do that. Or the next year he wrote her more cycles to California. I wrote in the back because I was only fourteen. Um and my brother wrote his own and we rode to California and stopped following away and did various things. So that sense of adventure, that drive that spirit for living life but also succeeding in what you're passionate about and focused on, really just continues to drive me forward and do more for myself, be more for for my family, and just be president as well. I love that. That's awesome. We we talked about that in our family here too, about and sometimes we focus on stuff, especially around the holidays, and my wife and I were always about building memories. You know, you don't remember the five things you got for Christmas last year, but you remember the trip you went on. You know, you'll never forget that night trip, You'll never forget that motorcycle ride and those those things are priceless. So yeah, I love that and totally relate to that too well. Sean, thanks so much for sharing that, and sharing your dad and and the impact he's had on your life. And thanks for all the work you guys are doing over over at UH Millaport Sigma and the company's and thanks again for your time. You've been listening to Heroes of Healthcare for more, Subscribe to the show in your favorite podcast player, or visit us at Heroes of Healthcare podcast dot com.

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