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Idea generating

My Take | May 22, 2023 | By: Janet Preus

My son asked me recently how I thought of all the ideas for stories in this publication. He thought it would be hard to keep coming up with something new to say. (After all, I’ve been doing this for quite a few years.) Well Joe, it would, if I had to come up with all the ideas

Fortunately, I work in an industry replete with R&D wizards, and ideas for new stories often appear like magic. They don’t necessarily land on my desk fully formed, but what might be an “in the future” comment at the end of an email serves to plant the thought in my head, warrants a note in an upcoming issue’s folder, and becomes a lead to follow up. (I love having leads to follow up!)

One specific area of the industry that has been fascinating lately is the medical market, which is interesting because participation in it can be unusually challenging. With stringent regulations and a lengthy regimen of testing necessary, the investment in time and resources is extensive, with no guarantee of commercial success at the end of it. Nonetheless, many researchers are up to the challenge, and are announcing creative solutions with increasing regularity.

Our feature by Dr. Seshadri Ramkumar in this issue, “The life-changing possibilities for biomedical textiles,” details just some of the recent innovations that could be pivotal in the biomedical field, in particular. Discussed are new polymers, 3D printing and nanofiber technologies, as well as natural substrates and materials used in coatings, such as for natural biocides.

It’s amazing … It wasn’t that long ago that I never used the term “biomedical” in this publication. Now it warrants its own feature—and then some. This is the nature of what I do: watching, reading, following up, asking questions. I’m not so much a generator of ideas as a curator of content. I decide what’s news for my readers, that’s true. When the body of new research, new products and even new businesses has grown into its own market segment, it may feel like magic. Really, it’s just good science—and, of course, it’s also news.

Janet Preus is senior editor of Textile Technology Source. She can be reached at

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