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Thermal Stability of Intralipid Optical Phantoms

Volume 67, Number 8 (Aug. 2013) Page 993-996

PHILIP I. ROWE,* RAINER KÜNNEMEYER, ANDREW MCGLONE, SADHANA TALELE, PAUL MARTINSEN, and RICHARD OLIVER


We investigated the stability of light transmission through Intralipid-based optical phantoms in the wavelength range of 400–950 nm at temperatures between 35 and 70 °C. Optical phantoms are materials commonly used to simulate the light scattering and absorption properties of biological materials. These simulations require the phantom to be optically stable. We demonstrate that the scattering properties of Intralipid remain stable at higher temperatures, varying less than 0.5%. We also present results that show this is not the case for absorption below 700 nm at 35 and 70 °C, with greater instability at 70 °C. For example, at 500 nm, the light intensity transmitted through 15 mm of Intralipid dropped 39% over 12 h. We demonstrate that oxidation of fatty acids in Intralipid could account for this effect and show, by flushing the system continuously with nitrogen gas, the instability is reduced.



Index Headings: Intralipid; Temperature stability; Optical phantoms; Light transmission; Inverse adding–doubling; Optical properties.