Panel Discussion

Dr. Schmidt's research has resulted in numerous patents that are licensed to companies, including AxoGen, Alafair Biosciences, Smith and Nephew, and Siluria Technologies. Comments for this panel will focus on peripheral nerve applications and one key success that is the foundation for the Avance Nerve Graft from AxoGen. In addition, along the way to uncovering strategies for nerve regeneration, Dr. Schmidt and her team also discovered a biomaterials processing approach that led to a separate application of protecting tendon’s after surgery, resulting in the VersaWrap Tendon Protector from Alafair Biosciences, a start-up company in Austin, Texas.

Nerve Repair: Dr. Schmidt's technology for processing decellularized nerve tissue was licensed to AxoGen in Alachua, Florida (http://www.axogeninc.com) for the AVANCETM nerve graft. Many tens of thousands (~100,000) of AxoGen's AVANCETM grafts have been implanted in patients at hundreds of hospitals globally.

Post-surgical Wound Management: Using a novel in situ crystallization processing technique, Dr. Schmidt’s team created mechanically robust hyaluronic acid-based hydrogel films that can be easily handled, sutured, and delivered laparoscopically. This research is the basis of Alafair Biosciences, a start-up company in Austin, TX (http://www.alafairbiosciences.com), which is run by Dr. Schmidt’s PhD graduate and a neurosurgeon collaborator. Alafair’s first product, VersaWrapTM Tendon Protector, has been implanted in more than 500 patients since December 2017.