We report a new approach to preparing phantoms using 3D printing. This device supports plastic tubing containing the contrast agent and is immersed in a solution with absorption or scattering properties that mimic tissue. Up to 12 tubing samples could be placed in the device with sample-to-sample spacing as low as 0.3 mm and at a constant distance from the transducer (±0.16 mm), which is critical in validating photoacoustic contrast agents. We also studied different types of tubing and found that tubing with a larger outside diameter has more inherent signal. Both 40% India Ink and lipids in the immersion media modulated the signal. Finally, we created a depth phantom and found that signal decayed following a linear relationship (R2 = 0.997) with respect to distance from the focal point. We include computer-assisted drafting code the community can use to print this phantom or customized versions of this phantom.
Arconada-Alvarez, S. J., Lemaster, J. E., Wang, J., & Jokerst, J. V. (2017). The development and characterization of a novel yet simple 3D printed tool to facilitate phantom imaging of photoacoustic contrast agents. Photoacoustics, 5, 17–24. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pacs.2017.02.001