Sent: Tuesday, May 18, 2004 1:13 PM
Subject: Stenting for kids
Thank you so much for providing the tubing for our demonstration. The kids loved the demonstration and I think that they learned a lot about how Nitinol is used in the body.
As promised, here is a short description of our project:
On Saturday May 8th, 2004 , a group of University of California , Berkeley undergraduate and graduate students conducted hands-on learning demonstrations for children ages 6-12 at the Lawrence Hall of Science (a science museum).
The demonstrations, titled “Body Building 101”, were intended to teach the children about a variety of issues that arise in the field of bioengineering. Our group chose to demonstrate how Nitinol is used for stenting in the human body.
For the demonstration, it was critical to use visual aids 1) for blood vessels which simulated the compliance of an actual human blood vessel, and 2) for stents which exhibited superelastic properties as are utilized in Nitinol endovascular stents.
To conduct such a demonstration, Nitinol “stents” were created using wire which was heat treated into a spring shape with a 14-mm diameter, which were inserted into a “blood vessel” which was simulated by an 11-mm diameter human-body-compliant latex tube. Specifically, the children were asked to play the part of a surgeon trying to help a patient with a damaged vessel by:
1) playing with the blood vessel to experience the compliance
2) placing the stent in cold water(simulating cold saline used in surgery)
3) uncoiling the stent (which remained uncoiled in the cold water)
4) threading the uncoiled stent into the blood vessel
5) placing the stented blood vessel in warm water (simulating the warm environment of the human body), and
6) watching the Nitinol stent return to shape which showed a slight expansion (chronic outward force) of the blood vessel because of the slightly larger stent diamter.
Every patron, child and adult alike, was delighted with the demonstration and there were several comments to the effect of, “Wow. I had no idea that’s how stenting works. It makes a lot of sense now.”
Thanks to Dynatek dalta’s and NDC’s generous donations of latex tubing and Nitinol wire, we were able to create a hands-on demonstration which was both educational and realistic, and allow each child to take home one of the demonstration pieces of stented blood vessel to show to their friends and family.