nitinol material is a versatile alloy of nickel and titanium, widely used in medical devices where it combines biocompatibility, superelasticity and fatigue and kink resistance.
In simple terms, when an external force is applied to Nitinol, the metal can deform but it reverts back to its original shape upon heating above its “transformation temperature”. This behavior is known as the thermal shape memory effect.
Due to the low release of Ni in the body, this alloy can be very stable and shows excellent biocompatibility when implanted into bone as it possesses an elastic modulus close to that of bone. These properties make nitinol an ideal candidate for osteoporotic implants and bone suture anchors.
For minimally invasive surgery, the ability of cable to bend and change shape is critical to safely and efficiently guide surgical instruments and catheters into tight spaces in the human body. This is particularly true when navigating difficult and tortuous blood vessels, such as those found in the iliac, femoral popliteal and infrapopliteal arteries.
The shape-changing characteristics of nitinol wire are also important for a variety of surgical applications, including guidewires and catheter tubes, stone retrieval baskets, filters, needles, dental files and archwires. These shapes can be designed and formed into different sizes and geometries that are more compact, reducing the overall weight of the device.
One of the most popular applications of nitinol is the production of thin-walled, high precision sheet for endovascular stents, catheter tubes and stone retrieval baskets. Thin-wall nitinol offers high process capabilities and allows consistent starting thickness tolerances and uniform thickness control across the surface.