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Commercially available ultrasound quality assurance test phantoms rely on the long-term acoustic stability of the tissue-mimicking-material (TMM). Measurement of the acoustic properties of the TMM can be technically challenging, and it is important to ensure its stability. The standard technique is to film-wrap samples of TMM and to measure the acoustic properties in a water bath. In this study, a modified technique was proposed whereby the samples of TMM are measured in a preserving fluid that is intended to maintain their characteristics. The acoustic properties were evaluated using a broadband pulse-echo substitution technique over the frequency range 4.5-50 MHz at 0, 6 and 12 months using both techniques. For both techniques, the measured mean values for the speed of sound and attenuation were very similar and within the International Electrotechnical Commission-recommended value. However, the results obtained using the proposed modified technique exhibited greater stability over the 1-y period compared with the results acquired using the standard technique.
Rabell-Montiel, A., Browne, J., Pye, S., Anderson, T & Moran, C. (2017). Broadband acoustic measurement of the agar-based mimicking material: a longitudinal study. Ultrasound in Medicine & Biology43(7), pp.1494-1505. doi:10.1016/j.ultrasmedbio.2017.02.019