Fat tissue equivalent phantoms for microwave applications by reinforcing gelatin with nanocellulose
Journal article, 2021

Tissue mimicking phantom materials with thermal and dielectric equivalence are vital for the development of microwave diagnostics and treatment. The current phantoms representing fat tissue are challenged by mechanical integrity at relevant temperatures coupled with complex production protocols. We have employed two types of nanocellulose (cellulose nanocrystals and oxidized cellulose nanocrystals) as reinforcement in gelatin stabilized emulsions for mimicking fat tissue. The nanocellulose-gelatin stabilized emulsions were evaluated for their dielectric properties, the moduli-temperature dependence using small deformation rheology, stress-strain behavior using large deformation, and their compliance to quality assurance guidelines for superficial hyperthermia. All emulsions had low permittivity and conductivity within the lower microwave frequency band, accompanied by fat equivalent thermal properties. Small deformation rheology showed reduced temperature dependence of the moduli upon addition of nanocellulose, independent of type. The cellulose nanocrystals gelatin reinforced emulsion complied with the quality assurance guidelines. Hence, we demonstrate that the addition of cellulose nanocrystals to gelatin stabilized emulsions has the potential to be used as fat phantoms for the development of microwave diagnostics and treatment.

tissue-mimicking phantom


microwave diagnostics





Hana Dobsicek Trefna

Chalmers, Electrical Engineering, Signal Processing and Biomedical Engineering, Biomedical Electromagnetics

Saül Llacer Navarro

Wallenberg Wood Science Center (WWSC)

Chalmers, Electrical Engineering

Fredrik Lorentzon

Student at Chalmers

Tiina Nypelö

Chalmers, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Applied Chemistry

Wallenberg Wood Science Center (WWSC)

Anna Ström

Chalmers, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Applied Chemistry, Anna Ström Group

Biomedical Physics and Engineering Express

2057-1976 (eISSN)

Vol. 7 6 065025

Subject Categories

Food Engineering

Polymer Technologies

Textile, Rubber and Polymeric Materials





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