Origami-inspired thin-film shape memory alloy devices

We describe the design and fabrication of miniaturized origami structures based on thin-film shape memory alloys. These devices are attractive for medical implants, as they overcome the opposing requirements of crimping the implant for insertion into an artery while keeping sensitive parts of the implant nearly stress-free. The designs are based on a group theory approach in which compatibility at a few creases implies the foldability of the whole structure. Importantly, this approach is versatile and thus provides a pathway for patient-specific treatment of brain aneurysms of differing shapes and sizes. The wafer-based monolithic fabrication method demonstrated here, which comprises thin-film deposition, lithography, and etching using sacrificial layers, is a prerequisite for any integrated self-folding mechanism or sensors and will revolutionize the availability of miniaturized implants, allowing for new and safer medical treatments.


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