3D printing leader Stratasys Ltd. has donated several 3D printers to research labs at the University of Minnesota.
The Rehovot, Israel-based firm has sent printers from its Digital Anatomy and MakerBot product lines to UM's Visible Heart Laboratories in Eden Prairie, Minn. Those labs support medical research, student and physician education and medical device product development and testing.
Stratasys' Digital Anatomy 3D printers produce anatomic models that mimic the actual feel, responsiveness and biomechanics of human anatomy, including models can be punctured, sutured, cut and physically manipulated like actual human tissue.
During their education, all UM medical students use the Visible Heart labs to learn about 3D printing technology and how anatomic models can assist them in their future practice. The Visible Heart labs also are committed to providing outreach education about cardiac anatomy and device therapy to students from middle school age to clinical cardiologists.
In a news release, Americas President Rich Garritty said that Stratasys "believes 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."
In addition to medical student, patient and physician education, the 3D printing technology in the Visible Heart labs supports medical device research across a variety of coronary medical device applications.