Boston Scientific: Sponsored catheter stiffness profile test development

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Project Overview

Microcatheters are complex medical devices that are utilized for a variety of intravascular procedures. Boston Scientific currently lacks adequate methods to determine mechanical properties of their microcatheters. The stiffness profile of the catheters must be determined to identify taper zones and transition points. We hypothesized that thicker sections of the catheter would require higher bending forces than thinner sections, and the difference in required forces would be observable during testing with a UTM. This hypothesis was based on an initial mechanical model focused on internal bending forces. Our team fabricated a fixture which enabled analysis of bending forces required to deform microcatheters. As a result of our microcatheter testing, a scaled up “macrocatheter” model was created, and the initial mathematical model was reevaluated. Our “macrocatheter” testing validated our initial hypothesis. Our team’s mathematical model was modified, and this updated model fits our experimental results and validates our hypothesis. The team is now prepared to move forward by scaling down the testing apparatus to be sensitive to microcatheters and work validate our test protocol through statistical analysis.


Team picture

Team members from left to right: Julia Garofalo, Will Fox, Emily Knott, Justin DeShaw, Grant Karlsson-Ellifson

Team Picture from Final Presentations

Final Presentations - Fall 2018

Contact Information

Team Members

Advisor and Client