On the Role of SMA Modeling in Simulating NiTinol Self-Expanding Stenting Surgeries To Assess the Performance Characteristics of Mechanical and Thermal Activation Schemes

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Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials


© 2015 Elsevier Ltd. The work is focused on a detailed simulation of the key stages involved in the NiTinol self-expanding stenting surgical procedure; i.e., crimping, deployment, SMA activation, as well as post-surgery steady-state cyclic behavior mimicking the systolic-to-diastolic pressure oscillations. To this end, a general multi-mechanism SMA model was utilized, whose calibration was completed using the test data from simple isothermal uniaxial tension experiments. The emphasis in the study was placed on the comparison of two alternative SMA activation protocols, in terms of both the immediate and long-term (post-surgery) performance characteristics. The first is 'hard' mechanical activation utilizing superelasticity, and the second is 'soft' thermal activation relying upon the combined one-way shape memory effect and constrained-recovery characteristics of the NiTinol material.The important findings are (1) the thermal activation protocol is far superior compared to the mechanical counterpart, from the point of view of lower magnitudes of the induced outward chronic forces, lesser developed stresses in the host tissue, as well as higher compression ratio with lesser crimping force for the same geometry of initial stent memory configuration, (2) the thermal activation protocol completely bypassed the complications of maintaining the high restraining force during deployment of the stent, and (3) there is no indication of any detrimental functional fatigue/degradation in the cured stenotic artery during cyclic pressure oscillations.