Abstract

This work demonstrates the usefulness of 3D printing for optical imaging applications. Progress in developing optical imaging for biomedical applications requires customizable and often complex objects for testing and evaluation. There is therefore high demand for what have become known as tissue-simulating “phantoms.” We present a new optical phantom fabricated using inexpensive 3D printing methods with multiple materials, allowing for the placement of complex inhomogeneities in complex or anatomically realistic geometries, as opposed to previous phantoms, which were limited to simple shapes formed by molds or machining. We use diffuse optical imaging to reconstruct optical parameters in 3D space within a printed mouse to show the applicability of the phantoms for developing whole animal optical imaging methods. This phantom fabrication approach is versatile, can be applied to optical imaging methods besides diffusive imaging, and can be used in the calibration of live animal imaging data.

© 2016 Optical Society of America

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