Endovascular catheter-based technologies have revolutionized the treatment of complex vascular pathology. Catheters and endovascular devices that can be maneuvered through tortuous arterial anatomy have enabled minimally invasive treatment in the peripheral arterial system. Although mechanical factors drive an interventionalist's choice of catheters and sheaths, these decisions are mostly made qualitative and based on personal experience and procedural pattern recognition. However, a definitive quantitative characterization of endovascular tools that are best suited for specific peripheral arterial beds is currently lacking. To establish a foundation for quantitative tool selection in the neurovascular and lower extremity peripheral arterial beds, we developed a nonlinear beam theory method to quantify catheter and sheath flexural rigidity. We applied this assessment to a sampling of commonly utilized commercially available peripheral arterial catheters and sheaths. Our results demonstrated that catheters and sheaths adopted for existing practice patterns to treat peripheral arterial disease in the lower extremities and neurovascular system have different but overlapping ranges of flexural rigidities that were not sensitive to luminal diameters within each procedure type. Our approach provides an accurate and effective method for characterization of flexural rigidity properties of catheters and sheaths, and a foundation for developing future technologies tailored for specific peripheral arterial systems.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104459
JournalJournal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials
StatePublished - Jul 2021


  • Cerebrovascular disease
  • Flexural rigidity
  • Intravascular catheter
  • Nonlinear beam theory
  • Peripheral arterial disease


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