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Design and fabrication of solid phantoms for NIR water fraction studies


Tissue simulating phantoms provide a valuable platform for quantitative evaluation of the performance of diffuse optical devices. In this paper we report the development of a poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS) tissue phantom that mimics the spectral characteristics of tissue water. We have developed these phantoms to mimic different water fractions in tissue for testing new devices within the context of clinical applications such as burn wound triage. Compared to liquid phantoms, PDMS phantoms are easier to transport and use, and have a longer usable life than gelatin based phantoms. The pthalocyanine dye 9606 was used to provide an absorption feature of in the vicinity of 970 nm. Scattering properties were independently determined by adding titanium dioxide powder to obtain reduced scattering coefficients similar to that of tissue in the near infrared. Phantom properties were characterized using the techniques of inverse adding doubling and spatial frequency doma in imaging. Results presented here demonstrate that we can fabricate solid phantoms that can be used to simulate different water fractions.

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