TECHNOLOGY

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Nitinol is a shape-memory alloy, one that remembers its original shape and stiffness and when deformed returns to its pre-deformed shape or stiffness with the application of some heat. The alloy exhibits a wide range of physical properties with changes in temperature as well as fast transitions between these different states. Nitinol is a remarkable material for many existing medical and biomedical applications, one example being cardiac stents. Nitinol is the basis of advanced 3D meshes that allow neatly-folded cardiac stents to travel through arteries safely until the desired location is reached. At that point, exposure to body temperature makes the stent unfold and restore blood flow to an occluded vessel. This type of deployment is not possible using traditional materials.

Using this shape memory alloy the inventors developed a revolutionary recreational technology, one that will allow the skier or boarder to adjust the performance of their ski or snowboard based on changes in the snow condition or type. By inserting small pieces of Nitinol in key locations in the ski or snowboard and modulating the mechanical behavior of the Nitinol sheets via a Bluetooth connection and mobile application, the entire performance of the ski/snowboard can be changed in a few seconds. 

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Ara  is a Biomedical Scientist in the Greater Boston area. His training is in mechanical and biomedical engineering. Ken, known as KROD, is an Orthopedic surgeon and engineer who specializes in trauma at the same institution in Boston. Both passionate skiers, they came up with the idea to utilize Nitinol to create a pair of “shape-shifting” skis or snowboard. Their final design keeps the same shape of the ski but changes the material properties, stiffness rocker and vibration profile of the skis. 

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