Schwartz Biomedical, LLC of Fort Wayne, Indiana has received a $1.3 Million, 2-year grant from the Indiana 21st Century Research and Technology Fund to investigate a novel material for use in human total joint replacements. Schwartz Biomedical has been named the principal investigator on this project and is partnering with Colorado State University (Fort Collins, Colorado), DePuy Orthopaedics (Warsaw, Indiana) and the Northeast Indiana Innovation Center (Fort Wayne, Indiana) to develop the market and commercialize a new bearing material.Because of today’s active lifestyle, total joint replacements are needed in younger and younger patients. Doctors are reluctant to perform joint replacement surgeries on these younger patients due to the limited life of some of the implant materials. In addition, much of the aging population remain active well into their later stages of life; and even an older, active patient may be faced with the revision of their artificial joint due to the “wearing out” of the implant material. In the case of many artificial total joints, the plastic or polymer bearing component of the implant will experience wear and can be the limiting factor in the life of the total joint. Joint surface replacements, a somewhat less invasive surgery and sometimes a first step prior to total joint surgery, have experienced mixed clinical success due in part, to the poor lubrication properties of the current bearing materials. Schwartz Biomedical, LLC has licensed the technology from Colorado State University (CSU) and has partnered with the CSU researchers to investigate a “biologically enhanced”, self-lubricating polymer bearing material that could be used in both total joint and surface replacement implants.This technology, developed by Dr. Sue James at CSU, involves the chemical enhancement of the polymer material by combining it with a naturally occurring lubricant found in healthy human joints. Initial wear testing has shown that this enhancement results in a 50% reduction in wear when compared to the standard polymer currently used in joint replacement devices. Schwartz Biomedical holds the license for this technology and intends to further research it’s applications into different areas within orthopaedics (tissue engineering, sports medicine, spine, etc.).

Schwartz Biomedical, LLC, is a tissue engineering company that generates and develops novel tissue engineering solutions to orthopaedic and oral/maxillofacial problems. Dr. Herb Schwartz is the founder, president and CEO of Schwartz Biomedical. Prior to founding his own company, Dr. Schwartz was employed by DePuy Orthopaedics in their Orthobiologics (soft tissue engineering) Department. During his tenure with DePuy, Dr Schwartz established himself as a prolific innovator by generating more than 25 U.S. patents (issued or pending) in the field of orthopaedics and tissue engineering. He received his Ph.D. and MS in Biomechanical Engineering from the University of Cincinnati and his BS in Mechanical Engineering from Purdue University.

Founded as the Colorado Agricultural College in 1870, Colorado State University (CSU) is a land-grant institution and a Carnegie Doctoral/Research University-Extensive. Dr Sue James is the Director of the Biomedical Engineering Program, Director of Rocky Mountain Materials Research (RMMR) and co-Director of the Orthopaedic Bioengineering Research Laboratory at CSU. She received her Ph.D. in polymers from MIT in 1993 and her B.S. in Metallurgical Engineering and Materials Science (with a minor in Biomedical Engineering) from Carnegie Mellon in 1989.

DePuy Orthopaedics, a Johnson and Johnson Company, was established in 1895 as the first commercial orthopedics company in the United States. The company designs, manufactures and distributes orthopaedic devices and supplies including hip, knee, extremity, trauma, orthobiologics, and operating room products and is headquartered in Warsaw, Indiana.

The Northeast Indiana Innovation Center, located in Fort Wayne, Indiana, is a community technology business incubator designed to accelerate the growth and success of entrepreneurial companies through an array of business support resources and services. The Innovation Center’s main goal is to produce successful firms that will leave the incubation program financially viable and freestanding.