The University of Minnesota is opening a bigger and better Medical Devices Center, and they want the public to take a spin through it.

The new center not only offers glitzy new bells and whistles and an expanded facility for research and collaboration, it is a reminder of just how big of a deal medical technology is in the state of Minnesota and at the university. Industry giants like Medtronic, St. Jude Medical and Boston Scientific were spawned here, have headquarters here or run substantial operations here. Hundreds of smaller Minnesota start-ups continue working to fuel innovation and become the next big thing. The industry employs tens of thousands of Minnesotans.

Officials are hosting an open house from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday at the university’s Mayo Building, Suite G217, 420 SE. Delaware St., Minneapolis. RSVPs are not required, and can be sent to Trisha Johnson at johnsont@umn.edu or 612-626-5642.

The new, 8,000-square-foot 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 with 2,500 square feet. That facility grew to 5,000 square feet in recent years. 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.

The new facilities include a 3-D virtual design lab, imaging lab, anatomy and physiology lab, mechanical and electronic fabrication labs, wet lab, brainstorming rooms, and more.

More information is available on the Web at www.mdc.umn.edu.

James Walsh