Steven W. Brown, Joseph P. Rice, David W. Allen, Maritoni A. Litorja, Karel Zuzak, Edward Livingston
As optical imaging modalities gain acceptance for medical diagnostics and become common in clinical applications, standardized protocols to quantitatively assess optical sensor performance are required to ensure commonality in measurements and to validate system performance. The current emphasis is on the development of 3-dimensional, tissue-simulating artifacts with optical scattering and absorption properties designed to closely mimic biological systems. These artifacts, commonly known as tissue phantoms, can be fairly complex and are tailored for each specific application. In this work, we describe a conceptually simpler, 2-dimensional digital analog to the 3-dimensional tissue phantoms that we call Digital Tissue Phantoms. The Digital Tissue Phantoms are complex, realistic, calibrated, optical projections of medically relevant images with known spectral and spatial content. By generating a defined set of Digital Tissue Phantoms, the radiometric performance of the optical imaging sensor can be quantified, based on the accuracy of measurements of the projected images. The system is dynamically programmable, which means that the same system can be used with different sets of Digital Tissue Phantoms for sensor performance metrics covering a wide range of optical medical diagnostics, from cancer and tumor detection to burn quantification.