Rapid prototyping of biomimetic vascular phantoms for hyperspectral reflectance imaging

Pejhman Ghassemi, Jianting Wang, Anthony J. Melchiorri, Jessica C. Ramella-Roman, Scott A. Mathews, James C. Coburn, Brian S. Sorg, Yu Chen, T. Joshua Pfefer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


The emerging technique of rapid prototyping with three-dimensional (3-D) printers provides a simple yet revolutionary method for fabricating objects with arbitrary geometry. The use of 3-D printing for generating morphologically biomimetic tissue phantoms based on medical images represents a potentially major advance over existing phantom approaches. Toward the goal of image-defined phantoms, we converted a segmented fundus image of the human retina into a matrix format and edited it to achieve a geometry suitable for printing. Phantoms with vessel-simulating channels were then printed using a photoreactive resin providing biologically relevant turbidity, as determined by spectrophotometry. The morphology of printed vessels was validated by x-ray microcomputed tomography. Channels were filled with hemoglobin (Hb) solutions undergoing desaturation, and phantoms were imaged with a near-infrared hyperspectral reflectance imaging system. Additionally, a phantom was printed incorporating two disjoint vascular networks at different depths, each filled with Hb solutions at different saturation levels. Light propagation effects noted during these measurements - including the influence of vessel density and depth on Hb concentration and saturation estimates, and the effect of wavelength on vessel visualization depth - were evaluated. Overall, our findings indicated that 3-D-printed biomimetic phantoms hold significant potential as realistic and practical tools for elucidating light-tissue interactions and characterizing biophotonic system performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number121312
JournalJournal of Biomedical Optics
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • hyperspectral reflectance imaging
  • oximetry
  • three-dimensional printing
  • tissue phantoms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Biomaterials
  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


Dive into the research topics of 'Rapid prototyping of biomimetic vascular phantoms for hyperspectral reflectance imaging'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this