Structural mechanics, product development
a steerable guidewire of 0.33mm diameter.
Memory Metal Holland BV (MMH) introduced a technological solution for creating medical steerable guidewires. The distal end of a guidewire can be shaped mechanically with an actuation mechanism at the other end of the guidewire. Such steerable guidewires will have a major benefit for navigating guidewires through the human body during operation. By shaping the distal end inside the body, it can easier take turns when reaching complex junctions. This behavior has multiple advantages, among others, better steerability, reduction of the amount of used wires, decrease of operation time and thus saving lives.
The first MMH design required improvement to show its full potential on steerability. The guidewire of initially several centimetres long and a diameter of 0.33 mm had limited shaping capabilities while the tip rotated and bended simultaneously. Moreover, there was insufficient insight on specific behaviour of the concept. Demcon multiphysics successfully supported with comprehensive simulations to explain some unknown features of the design, made from shape memory alloy. This was the starting point from a fruitful collaboration between Demcon and MMH. The collaboration resulted into a 1.5 m long variant of a steerable guidewire including a patented controller.
medical product development
Different concepts were proposed in brainstorm sessions to realize a tip which purely bends in-plane or revolves purely around its own axis. Other requirements like safety, costs, ergonomics and biocompatibility were also included in these designs.
Subsequently, most promising concepts were virtually tested with our comprehensive FEM simulations on bending shape, rotation behavior, tip load, support stiffness, force actuation and maximum stresses. Production followed and the designs were experimentally validated. The validation showed that we are capable now in using the simulations accurately for virtual prototyping guidewires.
“we have created a major medical innovation.”
It has been very special to develop a major innovation like the Redwire for a medical instrument that is of great use in potentially life-saving procedures. We talked to physicians about their needs and the new applications and added value they expected from a guidewire. Our new design, which was developed in a collaboration with Peter Besselink from Memory Metal Holland B.V., extends their range in operation. They can, for example, take an extra corner to reach the intended target in the circulatory system exactly or to guide the catheter of choice that cannot be handled by a conventional wire.
Demcon multiphysics is an engineering agency with high-end expertise in the area of heat transfer, fluid dynamics, structural mechanics, acoustics, electromagnetism and nuclear physics. We support clients from a wide variety of market sectors and help them achieve their goals in research and development with deep physical insights.
We combine fundamental physical knowledge from an analytical approach with Computer Aided Engineering (CAE) simulations tools from ANSYS, MATHWORKS, COMSOL, STAR-CCM+ and FLUKA to setup, execute, analyze and evaluate numerical simulations. The use of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), Finite Element Analysis (FEM / FEA), Lumped Element Modelling (LEM), Computational Electromagnetics (CEM) and Monte Carlo simulations enables us to make a virtual prototype of your design. With these techniques we can simulate the fluid and gas flows, energy exchange, heat and mass transfer, stresses, strains and vibrations in structures and the interaction of electromagnetic fields with other physical aspects like heat generation. Simulation-driven product development increases the development efficiency and reduces the product development time. Our services can therefore fully support you in the designing phase, from idea up to prototype, from prototype to final design.