Design and Fabrication of a Conceptual Arterial Ultrasound Phantom Capable of Exhibiting Longitudinal Wall Movement

IEEE Trans Ultrason Ferroelectr Freq Control. 2017 Jan;64(1):11-18. doi: 10.1109/TUFFC.2016.2597246. Epub 2016 Aug 2.


The longitudinal movement of the arterial wall of large human arteries has shown promise to be an independent indicator of vascular health. Despite growing interest in this movement, its nature, causes, and implications are not fully understood, and existing phantoms have failed to show a pure longitudinal movement that is not secondary to the distension. An often overlooked aspect of the arterial wall is the interaction between the different layers. The longitudinal movement of the innermost layers, the intima and media, can be several hundred micrometers in the direction of flow during early systole. This is markedly larger than that of the adventitia, indicating that sliding occurs between the two layers. This feature was incorporated into a phantom by casting it in two parts. The molds were developed in-house using mainly a 3-D printer, a versatile and easy production method. Additionally, the phantom contains a tapered region. Using the phantom, we were able to demonstrate a pure longitudinal movement; when it was subjected to a pulsatile pressure, the wall displaced 220 [Formula: see text] (SD 40) radially and 560 [Formula: see text] (SD 74) longitudinally distal to the tapering. The motion followed the pressure variations. This paper serves as a guide for phantom production, explaining each step of the process.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Arteries / diagnostic imaging*
  • Arteries / physiology
  • Equipment Design
  • Humans
  • Models, Cardiovascular*
  • Phantoms, Imaging*
  • Printing, Three-Dimensional
  • Ultrasonography / instrumentation*