Shape Shifting in Nature; Creating a Stabile Platform inside the Vasculature

In nature many animals are able to change their appearance to match their surroundings or to mimic other animals. This camouflage protects them from predators and allows for sneaking up on unsuspected prey. Examples of these animals are chameleons and octopi.

A shape shifting/adaptable device could be an asset in the Percutaneous Coronary Interventions (PCI). In PCI, an occlusion of one of the coronaries is crossed using a guidewire (a small metal wire with a diameter of in between 0.36-0.89 mm) and, subsequently compressed against the blood vessel wall using a balloon catheter, also known as balloon angioplasty.

On some occasions, the guidewire buckling can occur during the crossing procedure, which ultimately can result in procedural failure. In order to prevent guidewire buckling, a support structure should be created that can adapt to the blood vessel wall and provide sufficient support.

Inspiration can be drawn from animals that are able to actively change their shape. This knowledge can later be used in the design of the adaptive support structure.

Contact: Aimée Sakes,