Textile Design Innovation Enables Less Invasive Neurovascular Procedures

Biomedical Textiles for Neurovascular ApplicationsThe neurovascular device market in the U.S. is expected to hit $1.07 billion in 2027 – up from $946.15 million in 2019according to a report from Allied Market Research. This encompasses embolization devices, revascularization devices, thrombectomy devices, embolic protection devices, and accessory devices for disease classifications including aneurysms (which account for nearly half the U.S. Neurovascular Devices), arteriovenous malformation, ischemic stroke, and stenosis[i].

Neurovascular procedures are common, and an estimated 6.5 million people in the United States (or 1 in 50 people) currently have a yet unruptured brain aneurysm, per the Brain Aneurism Foundation[ii]. Yet many traditional neurovascular procedures are highly invasive, with the potential for devastating side effects and long recovery times. For example, cerebral clipping – an invasive surgical procedure to close off an aneurysm by removing a section of the skull to access it – can lead to a perioperative stroke[iii].

Fortunately, the incorporation of implantable biomedical textile components is now allowing neurovascular medical devices to be smaller, lower profile, compressible and flexible enough to be adeptly guided through the complex yet delicate network of blood vessels in the head and neck, while still able to perform their critical function. Textiles are proving well-suited for applications such as intracranial aneurysm repair and occlusion, flow diversion, ischemic clot retrieval/ thrombus retrieval, neurostenting, nerve regeneration, and as sheaths for peripheral nerve conduits.

Because of textiles, procedures have been revolutionized by less invasive surgical approaches and lower profile delivery systems leveraging micro-catheters. Braided, woven and knitted biomedical textiles are helping to improve patient outcomes with less invasive approaches to  treating aneurysms and brain hemorrhages; preventing ischemic strokes by removing debris in the vessels; and removing thrombus after a stroke.  

Textiles incorporating metal alloys such as Nitinol are ideal for neurovascular devices due largely to two unique properties: shape memory effect (SME) and superelasticity. Shape memory allows nitinol to undergo deformation at one temperature, stay in its deformed shape when the external force is removed, then recover its original shape upon heating above its “transformation temperature”. Superelasticity means it can undergo large deformations and immediately return to its undeformed shape upon removal of the external load[iv].

New methods of changing fabric density, pattern or fiber orientation during design is resulting in complex textile structures that get closer to biomimicry than ever before. Desired properties such as porosity, radial expansion, compaction, and flexibility can be localized to specific regions of fabrics thanks to the most modern textile forming equipment. When biomedical textile engineers work closely with medical device OEMs, they can add a greater degree of innovation and efficacy to neurovascular medical devices by creating structures better aligned with how the device needs to perform today, as well as how it must function in the body over time.

Cortland Biomedical is trusted by leading medical device OEMs to enable smaller, lower profile neurovascular devices by designing and engineering biomedical textiles fit-for-purpose.

By Michelle Lishner, Development Engineer, Cortland Biomedical

[i] U.S. Neurovascular Devices Market Size to Reach $1.07 Billion by 2027: Says, AMR (yahoo.com)

[ii] [ii] Statistics and Facts – Brain Aneurysm Foundation (bafound.org)

[iii] Perioperative stroke after cerebral aneurysm clipping: Risk factors and postoperative impact – PubMed (nih.gov)

[iv] Nickel titanium – Wikipedia