Keeping Pace

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http://The%20first%20portable%20pacemaker%20was%20invented%20in%20a%20Minneapolis%20garage%20by%20an%20electrical%20engineer%20named%20Earl%20Bakken%20in%201958.%20Since%20then,%20Minnesota%20has%20a%20become%20a%20global%20hub%20of%20medical%20technology%20innovation%20and%20development--a%20crossroads%20of%20entrepreneurs,%20researchers,%20doctors,%20industry%20heavyweights,%20and%20financiers.%20The%20state%20has%20spawned%20countless%20medtech%20breakthroughs,%20from%20new%20types%20of%20artificial%20heart%20valves%20to%20electrical%20treatments%20for%20Parkinson's%20disease.  %20%20%20%20%20%20%20But%20Minnesota's%20long-held%20dominance%20in%20the%20medtech%20field%20might%20be%20waning,%20writes%20Sarah%20Laskow%20in%20the%20July/August%20issue%20of%20Foreign%20Policy.%20Sluggish%20regulatory%20processes,%20ossified%20business%20models,%20and%20foreign%20competition%20have%20driven%20firms%20and%20investors%20away%20from%20the%20Land%20of%2010,000%20Lakes%20and%20toward%20places%20like%20China,%20Europe,%20and%20Malaysia.%20If%20things%20don't%20change,%20the%20implications%20could%20be%20devastating%20for%20U.S.%20medtech%20innovation%20--%20and%20for%20Minnesota's%20economy.%20"If%20the%20state's%20industry%20and%20the%20infrastructure%20that%20supports%20it%20can't%20adapt%20to%20changing%20circumstances,"%20writes%20Laskow,%20"a%20hole%20could...%20rip%20open%20as%20medtech's%20epicenter%20moves%20to%20the%20other%20side%20of%20the%20world."%20%20%20%20%20%20Here,%20photographer%20Christopher%20Leaman%20looks%20at%20the%20bleeding%20edge%20of%20Minnesota's%20medtech%20industry%20--%20and%20the%20people%20behind%20it.%20Above,%20a%20scientist%20at%20the%20University%20of%20Minnesota's%20Lillehei%20Heart%20Institute%20displays%20a%20mouse%20heart%20from%20which%20cells%20have%20been%20removed.%20The%20institute%20is%20now%20hoping%20to%20repopulate%20it%20with%20human-induced%20pluripotent%20stem%20cells.

The first portable pacemaker was invented in a Minneapolis garage by an electrical engineer named Earl Bakken in 1958. Since then, Minnesota has a become a global hub of medical technology innovation and development--a crossroads of entrepreneurs, researchers, doctors, industry heavyweights, and financiers. The state has spawned countless medtech breakthroughs, from new types of artificial heart valves to electrical treatments for Parkinson's disease.  

But Minnesota's long-held dominance in the medtech field might be waning, writes Sarah Laskow in the July/August issue of Foreign Policy. Sluggish regulatory processes, ossified business models, and foreign competition have driven firms and investors away from the Land of 10,000 Lakes and toward places like China, Europe, and Malaysia. If things don't change, the implications could be devastating for U.S. medtech innovation -- and for Minnesota's economy. "If the state's industry and the infrastructure that supports it can't adapt to changing circumstances," writes Laskow, "a hole could... rip open as medtech's epicenter moves to the other side of the world."

Here, photographer Christopher Leaman looks at the bleeding edge of Minnesota's medtech industry -- and the people behind it. Above, a scientist at the University of Minnesota's Lillehei Heart Institute displays a mouse heart from which cells have been removed. The institute is now hoping to repopulate it with human-induced pluripotent stem cells.

http://The%20Barostim%20neo,%20produced%20by%20the%20firm%20CVRx%20in%20Minneapolis,%20which%20helps%20lower%20blood%20pressure. 

The Barostim neo, produced by the firm CVRx in Minneapolis, which helps lower blood pressure. 

http://A%20prep%20and%20supply%20area%20in%20the%20Lillehei%20Heart%20Institute's%20labs.

A prep and supply area in the Lillehei Heart Institute's labs.

http://CVRx%20founder%20Robert%20Kieval%20next%20to%20patents%20and%20trademarks%20mounted%20at%20CVRx's%20Minneapolis%20headquarters.

CVRx founder Robert Kieval next to patents and trademarks mounted at CVRx's Minneapolis headquarters.

http://A%20circuit%20board%20used%20to%20test%20CVRx's%20Barostim%20neo%20at%20the%20company's%20Minneapolis%20headquarters.

A circuit board used to test CVRx's Barostim neo at the company's Minneapolis headquarters.

http://A%20photograph%20documenting%20a%20successful%20implantation%20of%20CVRx's%20Barostim%20neo%20at%20Bern%20University%20Hospital,%20Switzerland.

A photograph documenting a successful implantation of CVRx's Barostim neo at Bern University Hospital, Switzerland.

http://A%20researcher%20at%20the%20Lillehei%20Heart%20Institute%20sorts%20stem%20cells%20in%20the%20Institute's%20labs.

A researcher at the Lillehei Heart Institute sorts stem cells in the Institute's labs.

http://The%20programmer%20system,%20a%20device%20used%20to%20wirelessly%20adjust%20therapy%20settings%20on%20implanted%20Barostim%20neo%20devices,%20at%20the%20CVRx%20headquarters%20in%20Minneapolis.

The programmer system, a device used to wirelessly adjust therapy settings on implanted Barostim neo devices, at the CVRx headquarters in Minneapolis.

http://Researchers%20Kathy%20Bowlin%20and%20B.N.%20Singh%20extract%20protein%20from%20cells%20and%20analyze%20data%20at%20the%20Lillehei%20Heart%20Institute.

Researchers Kathy Bowlin and B.N. Singh extract protein from cells and analyze data at the Lillehei Heart Institute.

http://Culture%20media,%20liquids%20used%20to%20nourish%20and%20grow%20cells%20for%20use%20in%20cardiovascular%20research,%20at%20the%20Lillehei%20Heart%20Institute.

Culture media, liquids used to nourish and grow cells for use in cardiovascular research, at the Lillehei Heart Institute.

http://A%20researcher%20at%20the%20University%20of%20Minnesota%20examines%20stem%20cells.

A researcher at the University of Minnesota examines stem cells.

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