Stratasys Donates 3D Printers to University of Minnesota Medical School
Stratasys Ltd. has donated its J750 Digital Anatomy 3D printers, as well as MakerBot METHOD X and MakerBot SKETCH 3D printers, to the University of Minnesota Visible Heart Laboratories for student and physician education as well as medical device research. The Visible Heart Laboratories are a large research lab located at the University of Minnesota Medical School.
Stratasys’ Digital Anatomy 3D printers produce anatomic models that reportedly mimic the actual feel, responsiveness, and biomechanics of human anatomy. Models can be punctured, sutured, cut, and physically manipulated like actual human tissue. These attributes are especially important to the education, research and product development conducted in the Visible Heart Laboratories, the company stated.
During their education, all University of Minnesota medical students pass through the Visible Heart Laboratories to learn about the benefits of 3D printing technology and how anatomic models can assist them in their future practice. The Visible Heart Laboratories also are committed to providing outreach education about cardiac anatomy and device therapy to students from middle school age to clinical cardiologists.
“The Visible Heart Laboratories are driven to train the next generation of medical device developers and provide them with the abilities to 3D print prototypes and/or virtually placed devices within real heart anatomies, as today these are considered essential skills,” said Dr. Paul Iaizzo, professor Visible Heart Laboratories, University of Minnesota Medical School.
In addition to student education, physicians at the M Health Fairview University of Minnesota Medical Center utilize 3D printing technology to educate patients with anatomic models that represent a patient’s actual anatomy and pathology.
“We believe that widespread use of 3D printed anatomic models in healthcare would translate into better and more cost-effective patient care and shorter time to market for new medical device innovations. This sponsorship allows us to support the world-class education and medical device research happening right here in Minnesota,” said Rich Garrity, president, Americas for Stratasys.
The Visible Heart Laboratories also are home to the University of Minnesota Atlas of Human Cardiac Anatomy, a collection of more than 800 human hearts that can be recreated with 3D printing technology for education and medical device testing and development.
Dr. Iaizzo shows how a 3D printed anatomic model can be used for medical device testing. Photo Credit: U of M Medical School | Visible Heart Laboratories