Investigating ballistic gelatin based phantom properties for ultrasound training
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The simulation has become an important tool for healthcare practitioners who have difficulty in accessing patients to learn ultrasound imaging modes. The ultrasound phantoms are specially designed objects that are used or imagined to evaluate, analyze and adjust the performance of test devices. These phantoms for ultrasonography devices are expensive, and low-cost alternatives have provided an educational experience that does not give the best result. Ballistic gelatin is a member of the 250-Bloom hydrogel family that resembles human muscle tissue in terms of its mechanical properties. The 250-Bloom Ballistic Gelatin (BG) is prepared with different mixing ratios to be made the mechanical tests such as gunshot, compression and electrical conductivity measurement. The results are compared with the mechanical results of human muscle tissue in order to measure the similarity of the 250-Bloom BG we prepared to human muscle tissue. It is showed that the 250-Bloom BG phantom model has very close mechanical properties to human muscle tissue at time-dependent characteristics of mechanical test results. It is also measured how long it can last without degradation with the time required to use it in the simulation and it is coated with the thermal insulation material needed to extend the degradation period. Based on these results, 250-Bloom BG phantom is recommended as a model for the creation of phantom limb model. Consequently, this model is a much more affordable alternative and easy to produce, it facilitates to work with any organ model in ultrasound imaging for healthcare practitioners.