An optical phantom enables dynamic changes in the physiological state of muscles, the brain, and blood flow to be measured. The medical diagnostic and treatment equipment that utilizes light is usually applied in order to establish the location of diseased tissue regions, diagnose the presence or absence of such a diseased tissue region, and treat diseased tissue regions. For the development of these equipments, their effectiveness may be accurately evaluated based on the present invention in simulating the human body and other living bodies optically and also various diseased parts and tissue functions. Moreover, a method for producing the optical phantom is shown in this invention.

The figure shows a human head optical phantom that enables evaluation of the effectiveness of diagnostic and treatment systems.
The phantom layers of resin having a space portion inside where the liquid phantom is allowed to flow enables the simulation of the functional and diseased parts of a living human or animal body. Supplying specific liquid phantoms to the space portions allows for the simulation of the following dynamic change of physiological states. This invention enables evaluation of the effectiveness of such diagnostic and treatment systems. Moreover, by using a female mold to form at least one phantom layer on the base, the space portion is easily formed within the layers. Therefore, it is possible to readily form phantoms of any type, meaning that the invention is suitable for use in medical diagnosis and treatment.

The figure shows an optical phantom (1) simulating a human head according to an embodiment of the present invention. With reference to the drawing, the optical phantom consists of a base (2), a plurality of phantom layers (3) stacked on the surface of the base, some of the phantom layers being provided with a space portion (4). The optical phantom also has an inlet conduit (5) and an outlet conduit (6), with each of the conduits communicating with the space portion and opening to the outside of the phantom.

The base consists of a ring (21) and a cross-shaped reinforcement portion (22), and is made up of a synthetic resin. The base may be composed of another material and be configured differently.

The phantom layers stacked on the base consist of five phantom layers (31) to (35). The innermost layer (first phantom layer) simulates white matter, and the next layer, second phantom layer (32), simulates gray matter. The third phantom layer (33) simulates cerebrospinal fluid, the fourth phantom layer (34) simulates a skull, and the outermost layer (35) simulates the skin covering the skull.

Titanium oxide particles, ink, dye, and others were added to the epoxy resin or polyester resin base material of the phantom layers to impart to the layers the different optical properties specific to each of the layers representing the respective parts of the head. The feel of skin can be obtained by using a flexible resin such as silicone rubber to form the fifth phantom layer.

At least one of the phantom layers is provided with a space portion at a location where it can simulate functional parts of physiological tissue activity or diseased parts, and the inlet and outlet conduits simulating blood vessels that connect the space portion to the outside of the head phantom. By selecting a phantom liquid that simulates a diseased portion or physiological tissue activity and using an external circulation system (not shown) to circulate the liquid through the space portion via the inlet conduit and outlet conduit, it is possible to simulate changes in blood flow accompanying muscle and brain activity, and to simulate other liquids, consequently making it possible to optically measure dynamic changes of physiological states simulated within the phantom.

Thus, by providing the optical phantom with space portions in accordance with the present invention, it is possible to simulate a diseased portion or dynamic portion taking place in a part of a living human or animal body. In addition, it is also possible to use the flow of phantom liquid into the space portion to simulate and optically measure dynamic changes of physiological states such as, for example, blood flow changes, changes in oxygen flow in tissues, and changes in cellular sugar content.

This technology is offered by AIST, Japan’s National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology. For more information, view the TechPak at .