RESEARCH ARTICLE


Function and Performance of Nitinol Vascular Implants



Andreas Melzer1, *, Dieter Stoeckel1
1 University of Dundee, Institute for Medical Science and Technology IMSaT, 1 Wuerzburg Loan, Dundee DD2 1FH, UK.
2 NDC, Nitinol Devices & Components, Inc., Fremont CA, USA


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© 2010 Melzer et al.;

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/legalcode. This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Correspondence: * Address correspondence to this author at the University of Dundee, Institute for Medical Science and Technology IMSaT, 1 Wuerzburg Loan, Dundee DD2 1FH, UK. Tel: +441382388355; E-mail: a.melzer@dundee.ac.uk


Abstract

Nitinol, an intermetallic compound of Titanium and Nickel has found widespread use as material for vascular implants. Its unusual stress hysteresis and superelasticity makes these devices biomechanically compatible with the body's structures. Nitinol also exhibits excellent corrosion resistance, biocompatibility and MR compatibility. The paper focuses on the material specific properties of self expanding stents to treat peripheral vascular disease, like biased and temperature dependent stiffness, kink resistance, stent durability and fatigue, and describes the design aspects of different Nitinol stents. The function and performance of other Nitinol implants is also explained, like vena cava filters, cardiac septal repair devices, and self-expanding heart valve prosthesis. A separate section describes the performance of endovascular Nitinol implants in Magnetic Resonance Imaging, MRI.

Keywords: Nitinol, thermal shape memory, superelasticity, self expanding stents, MR compatibility, vascular implants..