Technical Considerations for Non-Clinical Assessment of Medical Devices Containing Nitinol

On 15 October 2020 the FDA announced the availability of the final guidance for industry and FDA staff.

Nitinol is a commonly used material in the medical device industry. Device manufacturers have used nitinol’s unique properties (i.e., pseudoelasticity and shape memory behavior) to design innovative medical devices that would not be possible with conventional materials. Nitinol has been used extensively in cardiovascular devices such as stents, heart valves, guidewires, and vena cava filters. The use of nitinol in other device areas is growing, particularly for products intended for use in minimally invasive procedures. The thermomechanical behavior and processing sensitivity of nitinol raises special considerations when compared to conventional metals such as stainless steel, titanium, or cobalt-chrome alloys. Due to the unique properties of nitinol, the Agency has developed this guidance to provide FDA’s current thinking on technical considerations specific to devices using nitinol. The recommendations in this document should be evaluated in conjunction with the intended use and technological characteristics of your device and any relevant device-specific guidances.

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