Patient-Specific Vascular Flow Phantom for MRI- and Doppler Ultrasound Imaging

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Intraoperative Doppler ultrasound imaging of human brain vasculature is an emerging neuro-imaging modality that offers vascular brain mapping with unprecedented spatiotemporal resolution. At present, however, access to the human brain using Doppler Ultrasound is only possible in this intraoperative context, posing a significant challenge for validation of imaging techniques. This challenge necessitates the development of realistic flow phantoms outside of the neurosurgical operating room as external platforms for testing hardware and softFware. An ideal ultrasound flow phantom should provide reference-like values in standardized topologies such as a slanted pipe, and allow for measurements in structures closely resembling vascular morphology of actual patients. Additionally, the phantom should be compatible with other clinical cerebrovascular imaging modalities. To meet these criteria, we developed and validated a versatile, multimodal MRI- and ultrasound Doppler phantom. 


Our approach incorporates the latest advancements in phantom research using tissue-mimicking material and 3D-printing with water-soluble resin to create wall-less patient-specific lumens, compatible for ultrasound and MRI. 


We successfully produced three distinct phantoms: a slanted pipe, a y-shape phantom representing a bifurcating vessel and an arteriovenous malformation (AVM) derived from clinical Digital Subtraction Angiography (DSA)-data of the brain. We present 3D ultrafast power Doppler imaging results from these phantoms, demonstrating their ability to mimic complex flow patterns as observed in the human brain. Furthermore, we showcase the compatibility of our phantom with Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). 


We developed an MRI- and Doppler Ultrasound-compatible flow-phantom using customizable, water-soluble resin prints ranging from geometrical forms to patient-specific vasculature.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)860-868
Number of pages9
JournalUltrasound in Medicine and Biology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2024

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