Thermal modelling of shape memory alloy fixator for medical application

C. Song, P. A. Campbell, T. G. Frank, A. Cuschieri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Shape memory alloy has been recently used for tissue fixation in minimal access surgery (MAS). It offers an alternative to conventional thread-based suturing of human tissue, with the advantage that its deployment is faster and requires fewer surgical skills. To minimize the damage to surrounding tissue, thermal analysis of tissue-fixator interactions has been done to optimize the heating method, and to predict the heating effect and affected range. The finite-difference method has been used to solve the one-dimensional transient heat transfer problem, with fixator-tissue conduction boundary condition, and the finite-element method was used to build a three-dimensional model for the design optimization. The predicted temperature responses of tissue are considered within a safety range. Tissue temperature drops quickly after heating, and the affected tissue is limited to a layer 1 mm thick next to the fixator. Further in vivo animal studies on the use of the shape memory alloy fixator are ongoing for future applications of tissue suturing in MAS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)312-316
Number of pages5
JournalSmart Materials and Structures
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 5 Apr 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Signal Processing
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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