A thin-walled carotid vessel phantom for Doppler ultrasound flow studies

Tamie L. Poepping, Hristo N. Nikolov, Meghan L. Thorne, David W. Holdsworth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


A technique is discussed for producing a robust ultrasound (US)-compatible flow phantom that consists of a thin-walled silicone-elastomer vessel with a lumen of arbitrary geometry, embedded in an agar-based tissue-mimicking material (TMM). The TMM has an acoustic attenuation of 0.56 dB cm-1 MHz -1 at 5 MHz, with nearly linear frequency-dependence and acoustic velocity of 1539 ± 4 m s-1. The vessel-mimicking material (VMM) has an acoustic attenuation of 3.5 dB cm-1 MHz-1 with linear frequency-dependence and an acoustic velocity of 1020 ± 20 m s-1. Scattering particles, which are added to the VMM to increase echogenicity and add speckle texture, lead to higher attenuation, depending on particle concentration and frequency. The VMM is stable over time, with a Young's elastic modulus of 1.3 to 1.7 MPa for strains of up to 10%, which mimics human arteries under typical physiological conditions. The phantom is sealed to prevent TMM exposure to air or water, to avoid changes to the acoustic velocity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1067-1078
Number of pages12
JournalUltrasound in Medicine and Biology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2004

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors acknowledge Andrew Hui for his assistance with the material stress testing, Chris Blake and Sue Soney for their assistance with the 3-D ultrasound scans, Dr. Paul Picot for his advice on acoustic property measurements and ATL (Advanced Technology Laboratories, Philips, Seattle, WA) for the HDI 5000 ultrasound unit. Financial support has been provided by the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada (grant #T-5135 and research scholarship of D.W. Holdsworth), in conjunction with the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (group grant #GR-14973 and CIHR/HSFC partnership graduate scholarship of T.L. Poepping), and the Robarts Research Institute (graduate student award of T.L. Poepping). D.W. Holdsworth is a Career Investigator, supported by the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario.

Copyright 2008 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Acoustic attenuation
  • Acoustic velocity
  • Carotid artery bifurcation
  • Doppler ultrasound
  • Elastic modulus
  • Flow phantom
  • Silicone elastomer
  • Speed of sound
  • Sylgard 184
  • Tissue-mimicking material
  • Vessel-mimicking material


Dive into the research topics of 'A thin-walled carotid vessel phantom for Doppler ultrasound flow studies'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this