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Prolonging the shelf life of homemade gelatin ultrasound phantoms

1 AU/UGA Medical Partnership, Athens, Georgia, USA
2 Department of Emergency Medicine, Brody School of Medicine, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA

Correspondence Address:
Kimberly M Rathbun,
1425, Prince Avenue, Russell Hall, Room 215D, Athens, GA 30602
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

A significant limitation of homemade phantoms is shelf life. Our goal was to compare the impact on shelf life of easily obtained additives. Fifteen additives were mixed into a gelatin-psyllium hydrophilic mucilloid fiber phantom; three of these additives were used as a layer on top of the phantom. The mixtures were stored in the refrigerator and at room temperature. The samples were evaluated daily for microbial growth and phantom degradation. A 4% of chlorhexidine gluconate layer on top of the phantom quickly made the phantom unusable. The addition of benzoic acid and bleach to the mixture negatively affected phantom appearance with ultrasound imaging. The addition of household bleach or 4% chlorhexidine gluconate to the mixture or a 10% povidone-iodine layer on top of the phantom was the best way to preserve samples stored at room temperature. The refrigerated sample outlasted the paired room temperature sample in every case, with most room temperature samples becoming unusable by day 10 and most refrigerated samples lasting past 50 days.

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