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ASM Meeting: Next Generation Metals Design Strategies for Total Performance in Implantable Devices

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October Meeting Preview: Time & Location TBD


Date: October. 24th­­

Agenda: Technical Presentation by Dr. Jeremy Schaffer, Fort Wayne Metals


Please see below for an overview of the presentation and speaker bio:


Next Generation Metals Design Strategies for Total Performance in Implantable Devices

Adam J Griebel, Jeremy E. Schaffer


There are several challenges looming in Med-Tech where scalable material solutions will bring new levels of clinical success. For example, toddlers born with congenital heart disease must often face open heart surgery in the face of few devices well-adapted to their needs.  Children with scoliosis may receive correction devices that are simply “too stiff” for their anatomy and underperform, for example, due to fastener-loosening, repeat intervention, and infectious risk.  As a cross-functional design community, for every challenge, we have an opportunity to focus our efforts and drive toward a better future state.  This discussion will cover current research and development efforts in three key areas designed to benefit life and overcome real clinical issues, namely: absorbable metals technology, nickel-free and superelastic beta titanium, and functional wire forms. It is clear that a key ingredient to drive success lies at the tissue interface.  Therefore, the talk will further cover specific efforts to drive an effective “handshake” with tissue at the absorbing, metal-receding, tissue-advancing, magnesium implant interface. Beta titanium with greater than 6% total strain recovery will be showcased for potential use in interface with the pediatric spine.  Finally, a unique micro-grooved wire will be highlighted with functional physical and chemical tissue interface properties.



Jeremy Schaffer, Director of R&D, Fort Wayne Metals


As a Purdue Mechanical, Materials and Biomedical engineer alumni, Jeremy has invested the past decade working as a research engineer developing, tuning and inventing medical device materials to fuel advances in human care.  He currently leads a materials innovation focused group at Fort Wayne Metals Research (FWM) based in Fort Wayne, Indiana with worldwide markets and research touch points. Throughout this journey, aside from leading the research team, he has worked and interacted with local and global experts to move meaningful technology from concept to market. One example of clinical significance was process design to achieve a 100% life increase in CoNiCr pacing lead composites through invention of a bulk wire nanostructuring process. This material is applied in neural lead conductors where it must maintain a conductive link while withstanding potential impact loads and high cycle fatigue from the beating heart. The FWM R&D team regularly interact with clinical and academic discovery through sponsored research, students via guest lectureship to stir engagement interest, small and large industry as well as government-funded research (NASA GRC, ANL, PNNL, CERN).


The team’s research in materials extends well beyond any single market with meaningful long term goals designed to improve human life.  “Our team knows that whether working in smart materials for morphing supersonic airplanes or to solve middle cerebral aneurysms – the human impact is worthy of investment”, says Dr. Schaffer.  The group’s research portfolio includes near horizon projects for sustaining customers, for example, design advances to improve fatigue durability in brain stimulation leads, as well as future generation “moonshots”, as for example, orthopedic “vitamin” metal alloys designed to support tissue restoration then disappear beneficially.  Further, they realize that developing meaningful goals and executing through failures along the way requires humility and a team engaged across boundaries of research, industry, academia and geography.