Science Museum acquires first 3D printed models for new Medicine Galleries

New acquisition announced for Medicine Galleries as £7.6m funding award confirmed

The Science Museum has acquired the first 3D printed models used by surgeons to plan a complex paediatric kidney transplant. The models will go on permanent display as part of the Museum’s ambitious new Medicine Galleries, set to open in 2019.

One of many remarkable objects and stories that have been selected for the new gallery, these 3D printed models were created from the radiology scans of a father’s adult sized kidney and his two year old daughter’s abdomen, in preparation for a transplant operation between parent and child. The models were acquired by the Science Museum from Guy’s and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust where Transplant Registrar and KCL Research Fellow, Pankaj Chandak developed the idea of using 3D printed models of the organs to help plan complex transplantation outside the high pressure environment of the operating theatre.

Pankaj Chandak said:

It’s fantastic and a huge honour that our work has been accepted by the ‘Temple of Science’ – London’s Science Museum, and in keeping with the Museum’s vision to inspire, educate and enthuse schoolchildren and visitors of all ages in scientific discovery.

The Medicine Galleries have been made possible by generous grants from Wellcome, the Wolfson Foundation and Heritage Lottery Fund, who have today confirmed that the project has been awarded £7.6 million in funding. This landmark £24 million project will transform the first floor of the Science Museum, creating a magnificent new home for the Museum’s world-renowned medical collections.

Lead Curator of the Medicine Galleries, Dr Emily Scott-Dearing, said:

The Science Museum already looks after one of the largest and most significant collections of medical artefacts in the world. It contains great moments of innovation from the past, but it is also our role to grow the collection to reflect the leading edge of biomedical research and clinical practice today. The new Medicine Galleries will showcase life-changing breakthroughs of the past alongside emerging medical trends, revealing personal stories of how our lives have been transformed by changes in medical research and practice.

Also on display in the new Galleries will be the glass incubator used in the creation of the World’s first ‘test tube’ babies. Used to keep embryos at body temperature as they developed inside, this incubator has been loaned by the family of Sir Robert Edwards who, along with surgeon Patrick Steptoe, successfully pioneered conception through IVF, leading to the birth of Louise Brown in 1978.  Since then over 5 million babies have been born thanks to IVF techniques. From 14 October visitors to the Science Museum will be able to see the incubator on display in the Making the Modern World gallery.

Based on the extraordinary collections of Sir Henry Wellcome and the Science Museum, the Medicine Galleries will house over 2000 objects. The galleries will be designed by Wilkinson Eyre Architects and cover more than 3000m2.

The Medicine Galleries have been made possible by a £10 million grant from Wellcome, £7.6 million in funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund and further support from the Wolfson Foundation. The galleries will be free to visit and are set to open in 2019 http://www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/visitmuseum/new_galleries/medicine_gallery.

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