Thin film Nitnol


Prof. Ajit Mal


Rapid and minimally invasive controls are needed to prevent excessive hemorrhaging from major arteries in wounded soldiers on the battlefield or in civilians appearing at urgent care facilities with significant trauma. The focus of this research is to develop an ultra-low profile device containing new thin film Nitinol to occlude the damaged vessels preventing excessive blood loss as well as subsequent repair.

Nitinol (NiTi) is an excellent biocompatible, equiatomic alloy with many desirable attributes ideal for vascular repair. Bulk Nitinol has been used in transcatheter applications in many currently available medical devices. For example bulk Nitinol, is currently used in stents, ASD closure devices, and vena cava filters. Therefore, bulk Nitinol has a long track record of successful use in the vascular system. However, the delivery systems for bulk Nitinol are relatively large compared to thin film due to the material’s physical dimensions. The size limits bulk Nitinol’s applications in many trauma situations. That is bulk Nitinol is an order of magnitude larger than thin film Nitinol (i.e. less than 1/5th the diameter of a human hair), i.e. thin film is a membrane which is ideal for patching vascular damage or occluding blood flow. The thin film Nitinol also dramatically reduces catheter sizes while presenting an ideal opportunity to develop new ultra-low profile vascular repair devices.

 UCLA Samueli Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering