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Polydimethylsiloxane tissue-mimicking phantoms with tunable optical properties.
Journal of Biomedical Optics  (IF3.17),  Pub Date : 2021-11-01, DOI: 10.1117/1.jbo.27.7.074706
Aaron M Goldfain,Paul Lemaillet,David W Allen,Kimberly A Briggman,Jeeseong Hwang

SIGNIFICANCE The polymer, polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS), has been increasingly used to make tissue simulating phantoms due to its excellent processability, durability, flexibility, and limited tunability of optical, mechanical, and thermal properties. We report on a robust technique to fabricate PDMS-based tissue-mimicking phantoms where the broad range of scattering and absorption properties are independently adjustable in the visible- to near-infrared wavelength range from 500 to 850 nm. We also report on an analysis method to concisely quantify the phantoms' broadband characteristics with four parameters. AIM We report on techniques to manufacture and characterize solid tissue-mimicking phantoms of PDMS polymers. Tunability of the absorption (μa  (  λ  )  ) and reduced scattering coefficient spectra (μs'(λ)) in the wavelength range of 500 to 850 nm is demonstrated by adjusting the concentrations of light absorbing carbon black powder (CBP) and light scattering titanium dioxide powder (TDP) added into the PDMS base material. APPROACH The μa  (  λ  )   and μs'(λ) of the phantoms were obtained through measurements with a broadband integrating sphere system and by applying an inverse adding doubling algorithm. Analyses of μa  (  λ  )   and μs'(λ) of the phantoms, by fitting them to linear and power law functions, respectively, demonstrate that independent control of μa  (  λ  )   and μs'(λ) is possible by systematically varying the concentrations of CBP and TDP. RESULTS Our technique quantifies the phantoms with four simple fitting parameters enabling a concise tabulation of their broadband optical properties as well as comparisons to the optical properties of biological tissues. We demonstrate that, to a limited extent, the scattering properties of our phantoms mimic those of human tissues of various types. A possible way to overcome this limitation is demonstrated with phantoms that incorporate polystyrene microbead scatterers. CONCLUSIONS Our manufacturing and analysis techniques may further promote the application of PDMS-based tissue-mimicking phantoms and may enable robust quality control and quality checks of the phantoms.