How Medtronic uses nitinol to improve the structure and effectiveness of heart devices
Tim Laske, VP of research and business development for Medtronic‘s cardiac ablation solutions business, discusses the challenges of designing devices for the heart and explores the properties of nitinol.
The heart is often one of the most underappreciated aspects of human anatomy, and its atrial appendages are often overlooked even in cardiac anatomy.
These delicate and astonishingly thin structures are challenges for medical device developers.
Some intricate structures within the heart are so thin that a business card can be read through them, said Tim Laske, VP of research and business development for the cardiac ablation solutions business at Medtronic. When observing the heart in a surgical space, it becomes evident that atrial appendages carry blood, emphasizing the need to visualize their unique properties and thickness.
Rather than relying solely on “textbook depictions,” designing medical tubing that accommodates the true characteristics of this delicate anatomy is crucial for optimal device performance, Laske said during a panel at DeviceTalks Boston in early May.
“The ventricular anatomy is incredibly complex,” he said. “Everyone has a slightly different anatomy, and their conduction system is slightly different. Please consider that when designing devices,” Laske said during a presentation at DeviceTalks Boston.
By acknowledging these differences, engineers can develop tubing solutions that seamlessly integrate with the diverse ventricular anatomy, ultimately enhancing device performance and patient outcomes.
Nitinol: Unveiling the characteristics of an alloy
Composed of an atomic mixture of nickel and titanium, nitinol possesses distinct properties that make it a preferred choice for medical tubing. In the context of tubing design, two particularly interesting properties come to light.
First, nitinol has excellent thermal connectivity, boasting efficient conductivity that proves invaluable when used as an electrode. This property ensures optimal heat dissipation, enhancing the performance of devices utilizing nitinol tubing as an electrode component.
Secondly, nitinol demonstrates…