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Novel Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) Pulsatile Vascular Tissue Phantoms for the In-Vitro Investigation of Light Tissue Interaction in Photoplethysmography

Nomoni, M., May, J. M. ORCID: 0000-0002-8659-756X & Kyriacou, P. A. ORCID: 0000-0002-2868-485X (2020). Novel Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) Pulsatile Vascular Tissue Phantoms for the In-Vitro Investigation of Light Tissue Interaction in Photoplethysmography. SENSORS, 20(15), article number 4246. doi: 10.3390/s20154246


Currently there exists little knowledge or work in phantoms for the in-vitro evaluation of photoplethysmography (PPG), and its’ relationship with vascular mechanics. Such phantoms are needed to provide robust, basic scientific knowledge, which will underpin the current efforts in developing new PPG technologies for measuring or estimating blood pressure, blood flow and arterial stiffness, to name but a few. This work describes the design, fabrication and evaluation of finger tissue-simulating pulsatile phantoms with integrated custom vessels. A novel technique has been developed to produce custom polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) vessels by a continuous dip-coating process. This process can accommodate the production of different sized vessel diameters (1400–2500 µm) and wall thicknesses (56–80 µm). These vessels were embedded into a mould with a solution of PDMS and India ink surrounding them. A pulsatile pump experimental rig was set up to test the phantoms, where flow rate (1–12 L·min−1), heart rate (40–120 bpm), and total resistance (0–100% resistance clamps) could be controlled on demand. The resulting flow profiles approximates human blood flow, and the detected contact PPG signal (red and infrared) from the phantom closely resembles the morphology of in-vivo PPG waveforms with signal-to-noise ratios of 38.16 and 40.59 dB, for the red and infrared wavelengths, respectively. The progress made by this phantom development will help in obtaining new knowledge in the behaviour of PPG’s under differing flow conditions, optical tissue properties and differing vessel stiffness.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Publisher Keywords: photoplethysmography; phantoms; light; tissue; vessels; PDMS
Subjects: R Medicine
T Technology > TK Electrical engineering. Electronics Nuclear engineering
Departments: School of Science & Technology > Engineering
SWORD Depositor:
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Available under License Creative Commons: Attribution International Public License 4.0.

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