In this paper, neutron techniques in particular, small angle neutron scattering (SANS) and neutron diffraction (ND) are considered for the non-destructive characterization of Nitinol artery stents. This roughly equiatomic (50Ni50Ti at%) shape memory alloy (SMA) exhibits significant properties of superelasticity and biocompatibility that make it suitable to be typically used as smart material for medical implants and devices. Nitinol self-expanding artery stents, as permanent vascular support structures, supply an ideal option to bypass surgery, but they are submitted for the whole of patient's life to the dynamical stress of the artery pulsation and the aggression from the biological environment. These stents, consequently, can suffer from wear and fracture occurrence likely due to a variety of cyclic fatigue, overload conditions and residual stresses. Neutrons have recently become a progressively more important probe for various materials and components and they allow achieving information complementary to those obtained from the traditional microstructural analyses. The outputs from the preliminary works already carried out in this field consent to consider neutron techniques capable to contribute to the development of these crucial medical implants. The achievable results can yield trends adoptable in monitoring of the stent features.
- Mechanical stresses
- Neutron diffraction
- Small-angle scattering
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering