Tissue-simulating phantoms with interior vascular network may facilitate traceable calibration and quantitative validation of many medical optical devices. However, a solid phantom that reliably simulates tissue oxygenation and blood perfusion is still not available. This paper presents a new method to fabricate hollow microtubes for blood vessel simulation in solid phantoms. The fabrication process combines ultraviolet (UV) rapid prototyping technique with fluid mechanics of a coaxial jet flow. Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) and a UV-curable polymer are mixed at the designated ratio and extruded through a coaxial needle device to produce a coaxial jet flow. The extruded jet flow is quickly photo-polymerized by ultraviolet (UV) light to form vessel-simulating solid structures at different sizes ranging from 700 m to 1000 m. Microtube structures with adequate mechanical properties can be fabricated by adjusting material compositions and illumination intensity. Curved, straight and stretched microtubes can be formed by adjusting the extrusion speed of the materials and the speed of the 3D printing platform. To simulate vascular structures in biologic tissue, we embed vessel-simulating microtubes in a gel wax phantom of 10 cm x10 cm x 5 cm at the depth from 1 to 2 mm. Bloods at different oxygenation and hemoglobin concentration levels are circulated through the microtubes at different flow rates in order to simulate different oxygenation and perfusion conditions. The simulated physiologic parameters are detected by a tissue oximeter and a laser speckle blood flow meter respectively and compared with the actual values. Our experiments demonstrate that the proposed 3D printing process is able to produce solid phantoms with simulated vascular networks for potential applications in medical device calibration and drug delivery studies.
Xiang Lv, Yue Xue, Haili Wang, Shu Wei Shen, Ximing Zhou, Guangli Liu, Erbao Dong, and Ronald X. Xu, "3D printing of microtube in solid phantom to simulate tissue oxygenation and perfusion (Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 10056, Design and Quality for Biomedical Technologies X, 1005606 (Presented at SPIE BiOS: January 28, 2017; Published: 20 April 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2253463.5371820526001.
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