• Hard Biomimic phantom (shore of 84 D)
  • Biomimic - Optical phantoms
  • X-ray mammogram

Optical phantoms are tissue-simulating objects used to mimic light propagation in living tissue. They are designed with absorption and scattering properties matching optical characteristics of living human and animal tissues. Optical tissue phantoms can be used for testing systems in development, calibration and quality control of existing systems, and inter-system and inter-lab comparisons. In order to obtain quantitative information, steady-state optical measurements with phantoms can be an important step in accurate calibration. Solid phantoms based on optical-grade polymers, absorbers, and scatterers offer long-term stability and reproducible optical properties, and are cost-effective referencing solutions.

INO’s BiomimicTM solid optical phantoms are based on optical-grade polyurethane, which has extremely low intrinsic absorption in the VIS-NIR. Titanium oxide (TiO2) is used as a scattering agent to produce the desired reduced scattering coefficient (µs’). Carbon black is used as absorbing pigment providing a mostly flat absorption coefficient (µa) as a function of wavelength. When manufacturing an optical phantom, a set of µa and µs’ are selected at a reference wavelength. A characterization sample is manufactured from every batch of phantom produced. The optical properties of the characterization sample are characterized using a state-of-the-art, high-accuracy, time-resolved transmittance calibration setup (Bouchard et al., 2010). Characterization reports that provide the exact µa and µs’ values at the design reference wavelength are supplied with each order. The characterization samples are stored at INO for further referencing. It is therefore possible to request characterization of any given batch at other wavelengths (between 450 nm and 850 nm) at any time, even after the phantom has been delivered.

INO is now offering off-the-shelf standard BiomimicTM phantoms that are ready to ship immediately. Available off-the-shelf phantoms are listed in the Rectangular BiomimicTM phantoms and Cylindrical BiomimicTM phantoms tables and can be ordered via the Phantoms off-the-shelf order information.

If you do not find a phantom on the list that meets your needs, a custom phantom can be ordered by filling out the custom order form. Custom phantoms are fabricated with a predetermined target for the absorption and scattering coefficient specified by the client at a design wavelength. Custom orders typically ship within 12 weeks.


J.-P. Bouchard, I. Veilleux, R. Jedidi, I. Noiseux, M. Fortin, O. Mermut, “Reference optical phantoms for diffuse optical spectroscopy. Part 1 – Error analysis of a time resolved transmittance characterization method”, Optics Express, 18 (11), pp. 11495-11507, 2010.


L. Spinelli, M. Botwicz, N. Zolek, M. Kacprzak, D. Milej, A. Liebert, U. Weigel, T. Durduran, F. Foschum, A. Kienle, F. Baribeau, S. Leclair, J.-P. Bouchard, I. Noiseux, P. Gallant, O. Mermut, A. Pifferi, A. Torricelli, R. Cubeddu, H.-C. Ho, M. Mazurenka, H. Wabnitz, K. Klauenberg, O. Bodnar, C. Elster, M. Benazech-Lavoue, Y. Berube-Lauziere, F. Lesage, P. Di Ninni, F. Martelli, G. Zaccanti, “Inter-Laboratory Comparison of Optical Properties Performed on Intralipid and India Ink”, in Biomedical Optics and 3-D Imaging, OSA Technical Digest, paper BW1A.6, 2012.


J.-P. Bouchard, I. Noiseux, O. Mermut, “Challenges in manufacturing optical tissue phantoms: An industrial perspective”, Proc. of SPIE, 8229, art. no. 822916, 2012.


J.-P. Bouchard, I. Veilleux, I. Noiseux, O. Mermut, “Accurately characterized optical tissue phantoms: how, why and when?”, Proc. of SPIE, 7906, art. no. 79060K, 2011. 


I. Noiseux, I. Veilleux, S. Leclair, J.-P. Bouchard, J. Osouf, O. Mermut, “Optical tissue phantom: Realistic absorption across spectrum”, Proc. of SPIE, 7906, 2011. J.-P. Bouchard, I. Noiseux, I. Veilleux, O. Mermut, “The role of optical tissue phantom in verification and validation of medical imaging devices”, International Workshop on Biophotonics, BIOPHOTONICS, art. no. 5954806, 2011.


J.-P. Bouchard, I. Veilleux, I. Noiseux, S. Leclair, R. Jedidi, M. Fortin, O. Mermut, “Uncertainty analysis of time resolved transmittance characterization of solid tissue phantoms”,  Proc. of SPIE, 7567, art. no. 75670A, 2010.


M. L. Vernon, J. Frechette, Y. Painchaud, S. Caron, P. Beaudry, “Fabrication and characterization of a solid polyurethane phantom for optical imaging through scattering media”, Applied OpticsS, Vol. 38 (19), pp.4247-4251, 1999.


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