• Article

A novel shape memory alloy annuloplasty ring for minimally invasive surgery Design, fabrication, and evaluation

A novel annuloplasty ring with a shape memory alloy core has been developed to facilitate minimally invasive mitral valve repair. In its activated (austenitic) phase, this prototype ring has comparable mechanical properties to commercial semi-rigid rings. In its pre-activated (martensitic) phase, this ring is flexible enough to be introduced through an 8-mm trocar and easily manipulated with robotic instruments within the confines of a left atrial model. The core is constructed of 0.50 mm diameter NiTi, which is maintained below its martensitic transition temperature (24 degrees C) during deployment and suturing. After suturing, the ring is heated above its austenitic transition temperature (37 degrees C, normal human body temperature) enabling the NiTi core to attain its optimal geometry and stiffness characteristics indefinitely. This article summarizes the design, fabrication, and evaluation of this prototype ring. Experimental results suggest that the NiTi core ring could be a viable alternative to flexible bands in robot-assisted minimally invasive mitral valve repair.


Purser, M. F., Richards, A. L., Cook, R. C., Osborne, J. A., Cormier, D. R., & Buckner, G. D. (2011). A novel shape memory alloy annuloplasty ring for minimally invasive surgery: Design, fabrication, and evaluation. Annals of Biomedical Engineering, 39(1), 367-377. DOI: 10.1007/s10439-010-0126-z

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