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Published March 2014 | Published
Journal Article Open

Dependence of optical scattering from Intralipid in gelatin-gel based tissue-mimicking phantoms on mixing temperature and time


Intralipid is widely used as an optical scattering agent in tissue-mimicking phantoms. Accurate control when using Intralipid is critical to match the optical diffusivity of phantoms to the prescribed value. Currently, most protocols of Intralipid-based hydrogel phantom fabrication focus on factors such as Intralipid brand and concentration. In this note, for the first time to our knowledge, we explore the dependence of the optical reduced scattering coefficient (at 532 nm optical wavelength) on the temperature and the time of mixing Intralipid with gelatin-water solution. The studied samples contained 1% Intralipid and were measured with oblique-incidence reflectometry. It was found that the reduced scattering coefficient increased when the Intralipid-gelatin-water mixture began to solidify at room temperature. For phantoms that had already solidified completely, the diffusivity was shown to be significantly influenced by the temperature and the duration of the mixing course. The dependence of the measured diffusivity on the mixing conditions was confirmed by experimental observations. Moreover, the mechanism behind the dependence behavior is discussed.

Additional Information

© 2014 SPIE. Paper 130845R received Dec. 3, 2013; revised manuscript received Feb. 11, 2014; accepted for publication Feb. 12, 2014; published online Mar. 6, 2014. The authors thank the Nano Research Facility of Washington University in St. Louis for providing the dynamic light scattering equipment to measure the lipid droplet diameters. We also thank Professor James Ballard for editing the paper. This work was sponsored in part by National Institutes of Health Grants DP1 EB016986 (NIH Director's Pioneer Award) and R01 CA186567 (NIH Director's Transformative Research Award) as well as National Academies Keck Futures Initiative Grant IS 13.

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