Characterizing mechanical and medical imaging properties of polyvinyl chloride-based tissue-mimicking materials

Yaoyao He, Shengxue Qin, Brandon A. Dyer, Hongbin Zhang, Lifen Zhao, Tiao Chen, Fenglian Zheng, Yong Sun, Liting Shi, Yi Rong, Jianfeng Qiu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is a commonly used tissue-mimicking material (TMM) for phantom construction using 3D printing technology. PVC-based TMMs consist of a mixture of PVC powder and dioctyl terephthalate as a softener. In order to allow the clinical use of a PVC-based phantom use across CT and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) imaging platforms, we evaluated the mechanical and physical imaging characteristics of ten PVC samples. The samples were made with different PVC-softener ratios to optimize phantom bioequivalence with physiologic human tissue. Phantom imaging characteristics, including computed tomography (CT) number, MRI relaxation time, and mechanical properties (e.g., Poisson’s ratio and elastic modulus) were quantified. CT number varied over a range of approximately −10 to 110 HU. The relaxation times of the T1-weighted and T2-weighted images were 206.81 ± 17.50 and 20.22 ± 5.74 ms, respectively. Tensile testing was performed to evaluate mechanical properties on the three PVC samples that were closest to human tissue. The elastic moduli for these samples ranged 7.000–12.376 MPa, and Poisson’s ratios were 0.604–0.644. After physical and imaging characterization of the various PVC-based phantoms, we successfully produced a bioequivalent phantom compatible with multimodal imaging platforms for machine calibration and image optimization/benchmarking. By combining PVC with 3D printing technologies, it is possible to construct imaging phantoms simulating human anatomies with tissue equivalency.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)176-183
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Applied Clinical Medical Physics
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2019


  • 3D printing
  • elastic modulus
  • multimodality
  • phantom
  • polyvinyl chloride

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Instrumentation
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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