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    Microscopic and mesoscale optical imaging techniques allow for three-dimensional (3-D) imaging of biological tissue across millimeter-scale regions, and imaging phantom models are invaluable for system characterization and clinical training. Phantom models that replicate complex 3-D geometries with both structural and molecular contrast, with resolution and lateral dimensions equivalent to those of imaging techniques (<20  μm), have proven elusive. We present a method for fabricating phantom models using a combination of two-photon polymerization (2PP) to print scaffolds, and microinjection of tailored tissue-mimicking materials to simulate healthy and diseased tissue. We provide a first demonstration of the capabilities of this method with intravascular optical coherence tomography, an imaging technique widely used in clinical practice. We describe the design, fabrication, and validation of three types of phantom models: a first with subresolution wires (5- to 34-μm diameter) arranged circumferentially, a second with a vessel side-branch, and a third containing a lipid inclusion within a vessel. Silicone hybrid materials and lipids, microinjected within a resin framework created with 2PP, served as tissue-mimicking materials that provided realistic optical scattering and absorption. We demonstrate that optical phantom models made with 2PP and microinjected tissue-mimicking materials can simulate complex anatomy and pathology with exquisite detail.


    Callum D Little, Radhika K Poduval, Richard Caulfield, Sacha Noimark, Richard J Colchester, Chris D Loder, Manish K Tiwari, Roby D Rakhit, Ioannis Papakonstantinou, Adrien E Desjardins. Micron resolution, high-fidelity three-dimensional vascular optical imaging phantoms. Journal of biomedical optics. 2019 Feb;24(2):1-4

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    PMID: 30770678

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