Istituto di Fisiologia Clinica     
Demitri C., Sannino A., Conversano F., Casciaro S., Distante A., Maffezzoli A. Hydrogel based tissue mimicking phantom for in-vitro ultrasound contrast agents studies. In: Journal of Biomedical Materials Research Part B: Applied Biomaterials, vol. 87B (2) pp. 338 - 345. Wiley, 2008.
Ultrasound medical imaging (UMI) is the most widely used image analysis technique, and often requires advanced in-vitro set up to perform morphological and functional investigations. These studies are based on contrast properties both related to tissue structure and injectable contrast agents (CA). In this work, we present a three-dimensional structure composed of two different hydrogels reassembly the microvascular network of a human tissue. This phantom was particularly suitable for the echocontrastographic measurements in human microvascular system. This phantom has been characterized to present the acoustic properties of an animal liver, that is, acoustic impedance (Z) and attenuation coefficient (AC), in UMI signal analysis in particular; the two different hydrogels have been selected to simulate the target organ and the acoustic properties of the vascular system. The two hydrogels were prepared starting from cellulose derivatives to simulating the target organ parenchyma and using a PEG-diacrylate to reproduce the vascular system. Moreover, harmonic analysis was performed on the hydrogel mimicking the liver parenchyma hydrogel to evaluate the ultrasound (US) distortion during echographic measurement. The phantom was employed in the characterization of an experimental US CA. Perfect agreement was found when comparing the hydrogel acoustical properties materials with the corresponding living reference tissues (i.e., vascular and parenchimal tissue).
URL: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/fulltext/119816720/PDFSTART
Subject biomimetic
in vitro
mechanical properties

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