Nitinol Devices and Components recently had an idea for changing the design of stents used to open blocked blood vessels: Make them out of a shape-memory alloy rather than stainless steel. Question: Would the alloy stand up to the rigors of the human body, including the average 40 million beats the human heart has per year?
Prototype testing to see if it would work would have been tough. So Nitinol used Abaqus software to simulate the behavior of the material within a blood vessel. Result: the material acted as expected. The stents are available now and, says Nitinol, working well.
Producing high-quality end-production metal parts with additive manufacturing for applications like aerospace and medical requires very tightly controlled processes and materials. New standards and guidelines for machines and processes, materials, and printed parts are underway from bodies such as ASTM International.
Engineers at the University of San Diego’s Jacobs School of Engineering have designed biobatteries on commercial tattoo paper, with an anode and cathode screen-printed on and modified to harvest energy from lactate in a person’s sweat.
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