By now, you may have heard that the medical device industry is more than a little important in Minnesota. Giants like Medtronic
, St. Jude Medical
and Boston Scientific all have headquarters or substantial operations here. Hundreds of smaller start-ups continue working to fuel innovation and become the next big thing.
The University of Minnesota, too, is a major player in the medical device game here. Now, the U is opening a new state-of-the-art medical devices laboratory – and the public gets a first look.
An open house is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday, June 4 at the University of Minnesota’s Mayo Building, Suite G217, 420 Delaware St. SE, Minneapolis
. Guided tours are offered throughout the day.
The 8,000-square-foot Medical Devices Center facility was specifically built for designing, building and testing new medical devices. According to the University, researchers had outgrown their previous location in the University’s Shepherd Labs that opened in 2008 with 2,500 square feet. That facility grew to 5,000 square feet in recent years.
University officials say the new center will foster even greater collaboration between the University’s College of Science and Engineering, and Academic Health Center units in Medicine, Pharmacy, Dentistry, Nursing and Veterinary Medicine. Equipment and labs are used for designing and testing medical devices. Facilities include a 3D Virtual Design Lab, Imaging Lab, Anatomy and Physiology Lab, Mechanical and Electronic Fabrication Labs, Wet Lab, Brainstorming Rooms, and more.
Student and faculty researchers will demonstrate new equipment during the tour and highlight past successes in developing medical devices at the University.
The center hosts the world’s largest annual Design of Medical Devices Conference connecting industry and academia. It is also model for turning research and development ideas into marketable products. Officials say the center’s innovation fellows have filed 120 invention disclosures over the past five years. Based on these invention disclosures, the University has filed 58 patent applications.
In addition to driving medical device innovation, the Medical Devices Center trains the next generation workforce. The center’s Innovation Fellows program draws medical and engineering professionals from around the world to train future innovation leaders in Minnesota. The center also provides support and training for more than 100 undergraduate and graduate students per year.
The Medical Devices Center is part of the University of Minnesota’s Institute for Engineering and Medicine (IEM) established in July 2007. IEM is an initiative jointly sponsored by the University’s College of Science and Engineering and Academic Health Center. The IEM fosters a wide range of high level, goal-oriented interdisciplinary research, uniting faculty in health sciences and various engineering, science and mathematics departments.
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