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Ultrasound (US) test phantoms incorporating tissue-mimicking materials (TMMs) play an important role in the quality control (QC) and performance testing of US equipment. Three commercially available TMMs (ZerdineTM from CIRS Inc.; condensed-milk-based gel from Gammex RMI; urethane-rubber-based from ATS Labs) and a noncommercial agar-based TMM, were investigated. Acoustic properties were measured over the frequency range 2.25 to 15 MHz at a range of ambient temperatures (10 to 35°C). The acoustic velocity of the TMMs remained relatively constant with increasing frequency. Only the agar-based TMM had a linear increase of attenuation with frequency, with the other materials exhibiting nonlinear responses to varying degrees (f1.08 to f1.83). The acoustic velocity and attenuation coefficient of all the TMMs varied with temperature, with the urethane-rubber TMM showing the greatest variation of ± 1.2% for acoustic velocity and ± 12% for attenuation coefficient. The data obtained in this study highlight the importance of greater knowledge of the acoustic behavior of TMMs to variations in both frequency and temperature, to ensure that accurate and precise measurements are obtained during QC and performance testing.
Browne, J., Ramnarine, K., Watson, A., Hoskins, P.: Assessment of the acoustic properties of common tissue-mimicking test phantoms. Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology, Vol. 29 (7), pp.1053-1060. 2003. doi:10.1016/S0301-5629(03)00053-X