The MD&M Minneapolis conference has been revamped in 2013 with several new features. The event will feature keynote sessions, expanded coverage of manufacturing related issues, a dedicated track for engineering of cardiovascular products, and a new master class format. While the MD&M Minneapolis exposition will be held for two days, from October 29–30, the conference track will be held over three days, kicking off on October 28. The event's conference track will feature 40 presentations, roundtables, and panel discussions. Comprehensive information on the conference is available at mdmminn.com.
A Preview of the Event's Keynotes
The conference will start with an opening keynote address on mind-controlled medical devices from Bin He, the director of the Institute for Engineering in Medicine and the Center for Neuroengineering at the University of Minnesota. Earlier this year, researchers at the university devised a noninvasive device that enabled subjects to control a flying robot with their mind. In the study, five participants were able to steer a four-blade helicopter robot. A noninvasive skull cap was able to detect the users' intent to move the device. Potential medical applications of the technology that enabled this breakthrough include user interfaces for people who are paralyzed or suffer from neurodegenerative diseases. "We envision that they’ll use this technology to control wheelchairs, artificial limbs, or other devices," He says.
The opening keynote address on the second day of the conference, "An Unconventional Approach to Medical Device Creation," will be delivered by Adam Dakin, president and CEO of Bioconnect Systems, a manufacturer of surgical implants that create vascular connections. Dakin is a veteran of the medical device industry with more than 20 years of experience working with early-stage innovative firms that have been acquired by the likes of Boston Scientific and Conmed.
On October 30, Dale Wahlstrom, president and CEO of LifeScience Alley and the BioBusiness Alliance of Minnesota, will deliver a keynote.LifeScience Alley is the largest state-focused life sciences trade organization in the country, and the BioBusiness Alliance of Minnesota is a nonprofit organization focused on the advancement of bioscience-based businesses in the state of Minnesota.
Wahlstrom worked for Medtronic for 24 years, retiring from the company in 2006. After that, he served as the vice president of CRDM Venture Programs.
The MD&M Minneapolis conference sessions will cover an array of topics, ranging from cardiovascular device engineering to wireless technology. The event will be divided into three tracks, covering process innovation, regulatory mattters, and product development. In addition, a new master class format will cover such topics as start-up strategies, supplier management, medical device sterilization, power management, and medical device coatings.
Implantable Device Content
Medtech Cardio, a co-located conference dedicated to engineers of cardiovascular devices, debuted in 2012. This year, on October 28, the content will be focused on the topic of implantable devices at large. Sessions include presentations on materials selection for implantables, glass encapsulation technology, and flexible electronics. Capping the day off will be a presentation delivered by Dr. Xin Fu, a pharmacologist at FDA, on how the premarket review process and material regulations apply to implantable medical devices.
On October 29, sessions will be offered that specifically relate to cardiovascular devices. Presentations will cover the evolving cardiovascular medical device regulatory landscape, tissue engineering, and breakthroughs in cardiovascular applications of 3-D printing.
The final day of the conference will be dedicated to power management and coatings. Sessions on the former topic will include the evaluation of implantable batteries and alternative power sources. The coatings sessions will cover topics such as applying an advanced coating to ePTFE medical implants and next-generation coating technology.
Wireless medical device applications will also be featured at MD&M Minneapolis in a master class focusing on wireless and mobile technology in medical devices. This class will offer attendees the opportunity to learn about the latest wireless technologies. Some highlights include a presentation titled "Where Are the Future Opportunities in Wireless and Mobile Health Applications?" and a presentation focusing on "Connecting Medical Devices to Smart Phones—Tips and Tricks for Using Bluetooth Smart." In addition, there will be demonstration tables at which visitors can try out these new technologies.