We describe a combination of liquid-jet microencapsulation and molding techniques to fabricate tissue-simulating phantoms that mimick functional characteristics of tissue oxygen saturation (StO2). Chicken hemoglobin (Hb) was encapsulated inside a photocurable resin by a coaxial flow focusing process. The microdroplets were cured by ultraviolet (UV) illumination to form Hb loaded polymersome microdroplets. The microdroplets were further freeze-dried to form semipermeable solid microcapules with an outer transparent polymeric shell and an inner core of Hb. The diameter of the microcapsules ranged from 50 to100 μm. The absorption spectrum of the microcapsules was measured by a UV/VIS spectrophotometer over a wavelength range from 400 nm to 1100 nm. To fabricate the tissue-simulating phantom, the Hb loaded microcapsules were dispersed in transparent polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS). The optical properties of the phantom were determined by an vertical double integrating sphere with a reconstruction algorithm. The experimental results showed that the tissue-simulating phantom exhibited the spectral characteristics closely resembling that of oxy-hemoglobin. The phantom had a long-term optical stability when stored in 4 ℃, indicating that microencapsulation effectively protected Hb and improved its shelf time. With the Hb loaded microcapsules, we will produce skin-simulating phantoms for quantitative validation of multispectral imaging techniques. To the best of the authors’ knowledge, no solid phantom is able to mimick living tissue oxygenation with good agreement. Therefore, our work provided an engineering platform for validating and calibrating spectral optical devices in biomedical applications.
Guangli Liu, Qiang Wu, Shuwei Shen, Gang Zhao, Erbao Dong, and Ronald X. Xu, "Simulating tissue oxygenation by encapsulating hemoglobin in polymer microcapsules (Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 10056, Design and Quality for Biomedical Technologies X, 100560M (Presented at SPIE BiOS: January 29, 2017; Published: 20 April 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2253436.5371820524001.
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