A Novel Fabrication Method for Compliant Silicone Phantoms of Arterial Geometry for Use in Particle Image Velocimetry of Haemodynamics

Sina G. Yazdi, Larissa Huetter, Paul D. Docherty, Petra N. Williamson, Don Clucas, Mark Jermy, Patrick H. Geoghegan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are one of the leading causes of death globally. In-vitro measurement of blood flow in compliant arterial phantoms can provide better insight into haemodynamic states and therapeutic procedures. However, current fabrication techniques are not capable of producing thin-walled compliant phantoms of complex shapes. This study presents a new approach for the fabrication of compliant phantoms suitable for optical measurement. Two 1.5× scaled models of the ascending aorta, including the brachiocephalic artery (BCA), were fabricated from silicone elastomer Sylgard-184. The initial phantom used the existing state of the art lost core manufacturing technique with simple end supports, an acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) additive manufactured male mould and Ebalta-milled female mould. The second phantom was produced with the same method but used more rigid end supports and ABS male and female moulds. The wall thickness consistency and quality of resulting stereoscopic particle image velocimetry (SPIV) were used to verify the fidelity of the phantom for optical measurement and investigation of physiological flow fields. However, the initial phantom had a rough surface that obscured SPIV analysis and had a variable wall thickness (range = 0.815 mm). The second phantom provided clear particle images and had a less variable wall thickness (range = 0.317 mm). The manufacturing method developed is suitable for fast and cost-effective fabrication of different compliant arterial phantom geometries.
Original languageEnglish
Article number3811
JournalApplied Sciences
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 11 Sept 2019

Bibliographical note

© 2019 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).


  • Additive manufacturing
  • Experimental fluids
  • Haemodynamic modelling
  • Particle image velocimetry


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