Publication date: Feb 17, 2020
Anatomically realistic organ replicas or phantoms allow for accurate studies and reproducible research. To recreate a human kidney, mimicry of the viscoelastic properties of the human kidney is crucial. However, none of the related work addressed the design and development of a kidney phantom using only silicone as material. In contrast to paraffin and hydrogel, silicone is an ideal variant for its extended shelf life, soft-tissue-like feeling, and viscoelastic modularity. To this end, we conducted uniaxial compression testing and Cauchy stress modeling. Results indicate that none of the available manufacturer silicone brands are suitable for the task of creating a realistic kidney phantom. Indeed, the tested silicone mixtures in low and high strain do not fall within the required approximate target compressive moduli of 20 kPa and 500 kPa, respectively. This work provides a frame of reference for future work by avoiding the pitfalls of the selected ready-made silicones and reusing the reported theoretical and experimental setup to design a realistic replica of the kidney organ.
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