An experimental canine patent ductus arteriosus occlusion device based on shape memory polymer foam in a nitinol cage. Academic Article uri icon


  • Patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) is a congenital cardiovascular defect in which a fetal connection between the aorta and pulmonary artery does not spontaneously close shortly after birth. If left uncorrected serious complications and even death can occur. Surgical ligation is the traditional treatment method; however, it is an invasive procedure, that motivates development of a minimally invasive option. Shape memory polymer (SMP) foams are unique materials that hold promise in the field of minimally invasive occlusion devices. In this work, a prototype nitinol foam cage (NFC) incorporating SMP foams has been designed and evaluated in multiple mechanical and in vitro verification tests. The NFC demonstrated acceptable fatigue resistance in a preliminary strut integrity test, withstanding one million cycles without complete strut fracture. Radial force analysis of both thick- and thin-walled prototype variations generated less vessel distension and wall tension in a vessel mimic compared to a commercial device. The NFCs exhibited negligible in vitro migration, comparable to that of a commercial device, using simplified, ideal models of PDA. Deployment characteristics of the prototypes were evaluated and compared to that of a commercial device when delivered into physiological models of PDA. During mock deployments, a veterinary cardiologist noted that, while deliverable, the thin-walled NFC prototype exhibited poor deployment characteristics, however the thick-walled NFC had deployment characteristics comparable to that of a commercial device. The promising results of this study warrant further investigation of the NFC device for canine PDA closure.

published proceedings

  • J Mech Behav Biomed Mater

author list (cited authors)

  • Wierzbicki, M. A., Raines, S. B., Gordon, S. G., Criscione, J. C., Saunders, A. B., Birch, S., ... Maitland, D. J.

complete list of authors

  • Wierzbicki, Mark A||Raines, Sarah B||Gordon, Sonya G||Criscione, John C||Saunders, Ashley B||Birch, Scott||Due, Bradley||Keller, Brandis||Nash, Landon D||Miller, Matthew W||Maitland, Duncan J

publication date

  • January 1, 2017 11:11 AM