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Nitinol materials used for Stents

Author: Date:5/12/2012 10:29:40 PM
Nickel-Titanium(NiTi) alloys are an equiatomic or near equiatomic intermetallic compound of titanium and nickel. The thermo elastic phase transformation in NiTi enables unique strain recovery properties, such as pseudo elasticity and shape memory. Pseudo elastic (or super elastic) NiTi is capable of recovering large inelastic strains spontaneously upon unloading. On the other hand, shape memory is exhibited when NiTi recovers large strain deformation upon heating. These unique properties have been used in the design of medical devices in cardiology, interventional radiology and orthopedics.
In particular, the unique properties of NiTi have made it an excellent material choice for use in self-deploying endovascular stents. Stents are mesh-like tubes that can be used as a supplement or an alternative to conventional balloon angioplasty for treating arterial occlusion disease. Given the superelastic behavior of NiTi alloys, medical device manufactures have developed compressible stents for use in arteries where gross deformation can occur. Mainly used in peripheral arteries, NiTi stents are self-expanding upon deployment and can conform more readily to the shape of the obstructed vessel. Stainless steel balloon expandable stents are neither crush resistant (in a gross displacement controlled application) nor self-expanding.