The New Shape of Medicine: how 3D printing may save lives | University of Minnesota Twin Cities
A red, walnut-sized 3D prostate sits in a gloved hand

The New Shape of Medicine: how 3D printing may save lives

Michael McAlpine and his colleagues are building organ models to help surgeons prepare for surgery. They also have made a device to treat spinal cord injuries and taken a first step toward a bionic eye.

Photo: A 3-D printed prostate model

Just the beginning

A gloved hand holds a model eye, with a blue iris and light sensors radiating like black spokes from the pupil.

U of M researchers have 3-D printed a light-sensing array on a hemisphere.

A 3D array of light-sensing devices is printed on a glass hemisphere.

Replacing neurons in damaged spines

A tiny white, translucent, right-angled section of a silicone bridge sits on a fingertip.

A prototype scaffold of silicone fibers to connect neurons across a spinal cord injury. 

A scaffold and neuronal stem cells are 3-D printed.

Meet the researcher

Michael McAlpine

Michael McAlpine

Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering
University of Minnesota, Twin Cities