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University of Minnesota to host world's largest medical devices conference April 10-12

March 30, 2012

Media note: Mechanical engineering professor Art Erdman, medical devices expert and co-chair of the conference, is available for interviews prior to the conference. Media wishing to attend should contact Rhonda Zurn in the College of Science and Engineering at

Medical device leaders from across the country in both industry and academia will converge at the University of Minnesota’s 11th annual Design of Medical Devices Conference (DMD) April 10-12 at the University Hotel Minneapolis, 615 Washington Ave. S.E., Minneapolis. The conference will address emerging trends related to medical device design, policy, engineering, education and commercialization.

More than 1,200 people are expected to attend this year’s conference, making it the largest medical devices conference in the world. Additional walk-in registrations are welcome. 

"The DMD conference continues to grow by all measures, illustrating the critical importance of medical devices and surrounding technologies, policies and clinical needs," said Art Erdman, a University of Minnesota mechanical engineering professor and conference co-chair. “Eleven years ago we had a vision to establish an event where leaders from academia and industry would come together to share the latest issues in medical device design. This vision has become a successful reality and continues to exceed even our own expectations.” 

The three-day conference offers technical sessions on a wide variety of topics, including live surgery, cardiovascular engineering, neuroengineering, micro and nano devices, medical electronics, surgical robotics, tissue engineering, power for implanted medical devices, global health, virtual prototyping, entrepreneurship, FDA Innovation Initiative and trends in med tech regulation and laser therapies.

The conference also includes an interactive “Hands on Hearts” exhibit of real human hearts; the ExploraDome immersive learning environment, featuring anatomy and medical devices under a 25-foot dome; a live surgery that will be broadcast via videoconference from the University of Minnesota Medical Center Fairview; advanced surgical and medical simulators; a medical devices industry job fair; and scientific poster sessions that will showcase more than 113 emerging topics in biomedical engineering and medical device design.

U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar will discuss the importance of the medical device industry in Minnesota during the keynote luncheon April 10, 2012.

Luncheon keynote addresses will be given by:
•    Elizabeth Baron, director of the VR Lab, Ford Motor Co.
•    Bin He, Distinguished McKnight University Professor and director, Center for Neuroengineering, University of Minnesota
•    Norman Dann, adjunct assistant professor, Innovation Fellows Program, Medical Device Center, University of Minnesota; recipient of the 2012 Design of Medical Devices Conference Award
•    Matthew Tirrell, Pritzker Director, Institute for Molecular Engineering, University of Chicago

The third day of the conference will include a Symposium on "Virtual Prototyping of Medical Devices." Its keynote presenters will be:
•    Richard J. Boyd, chief architect, Lockheed Martin Virtual World Labs
•    Brian Fitzgerald, Food & Drug Administration (FDA)
•    Birali Runesha, director of research computing, University of Chicago
•    Randy Schiestl, vice president of R&D, Boston Scientific Corp.
•    Thomas B. Talbot, M.D., USC Institute for Creative Technologies; chief scientist, TATRC Armed Forces Simulation Institute for Medicine

The conference is presented by the University of Minnesota’s Medical Devices Center (part of the Institute for Engineering in Medicine), the College of Science and Engineering, and the Academic Health Center. Several corporations are also providing industry sponsorships including 3M, Boston Scientific Corporation, Medtronic Inc., Minnetronix Inc., LifeScience Alley and Saitama Prefecture Japan. 

For more information on the Design of Medical Devices Conference or to register, visit Online registration ends April 1, 2012. Walk-ins are welcome, but pre-registration is recommended.

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