Optical coherence tomography (OCT) and blue light cystoscopy (BLC) have shown significant potential as complementary technologies to traditional white light cystoscopy (WLC) for early bladder cancer detection. Three-dimensional (3D) organ-mimicking phantoms provide realistic imaging environments for testing new technology designs, the diagnostic potential of systems, and novel image processing algorithms prior to validation in real tissue. Importantly, the phantom should mimic features of healthy and diseased tissue as they appear under WLC, BLC, and OCT, which are sensitive to tissue color and structure, fluorescent contrast, and optical scattering of subsurface layers, respectively. We present a phantom posing the hollow shape of the bladder and fabricated using a combination of 3D-printing and spray-coating with Dragon Skin (DS) (Smooth-On Inc.), a highly elastic polymer to mimic the layered structure of the bladder. Optical scattering of DS was tuned by addition of titanium dioxide, resulting in scattering coefficients sufficient to cover the human bladder range (0.49 to 2.0 mm^-1). Mucosal vasculature and tissue coloration were mimicked with elastic cord and red dye, respectively. Urethral access was provided through a small hole excised from the base of the phantom. Inserted features of bladder pathology included altered tissue color (WLC), fluorescence emission (BLC), and variations in layered structure (OCT). The phantom surface and underlying material were assessed on the basis of elasticity, optical scattering, layer thicknesses, and qualitative image appearance. WLC, BLC, and OCT images of normal and cancerous features in the phantom qualitatively matched corresponding images from human bladders.
Gennifer T. Smith, Kristen L. Lurie, Dimitar V. Zlatev, Joseph C. Liao, and Audrey K. Ellerbee, "Multimodal, 3D pathology-mimicking bladder phantom for evaluation of cystoscopic technologies (Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 9689, Photonic Therapeutics and Diagnostics XII, 96891D (Presented at SPIE BiOS: February 13, 2016; Published: 27 April 2016); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2213242.4828028246001.
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