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J Biomed Opt. 2014 Mar;19(3):36009. doi: 10.1117/1.JBO.19.3.036009.

Three-dimensional, distendable bladder phantom for optical coherence tomography and white light cystoscopy.

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Stanford University, Department of Electrical Engineering, Stanford, California 94305.
Stanford University School of Medicine, Department of Urology, Stanford, California 94305cVeterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System, Palo Alto, California 94304.


We describe a combination of fabrication techniques and a general process to construct a three-dimensional (3-D) phantom that mimics the size, macroscale structure, microscale surface topology, subsurface microstructure, optical properties, and functional characteristics of a cancerous bladder. The phantom also includes features that are recognizable in white light (i.e., the visual appearance of blood vessels), making it suitable to emulate the bladder for emerging white light+optical coherence tomography (OCT) cystoscopies and other endoscopic procedures of large, irregularly shaped organs. The fabrication process has broad applicability and can be generalized to OCT phantoms for other tissue types or phantoms for other imaging modalities. To this end, we also enumerate the nuances of applying known fabrication techniques (e.g., spin coating) to contexts (e.g., nonplanar, 3-D shapes) that are essential to establish their generalizability and limitations. We anticipate that this phantom will be immediately useful to evaluate innovative OCT systems and software being developed for longitudinal bladder surveillance and early cancer detection.

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