The overall aim of the test objects and methods theme is to develop a set of stable PAI image quality phantoms with defined optical and acoustic properties and define methods to use them in test procedures to support future standards development. Our roadmap for future activities is illustrated in the figure.
Progress: Our theme has undertaken an extensive community consultation on the optimal geometries and properties of standard phantoms, along with careful literature review of available biophotonic phantom materials. We have also undertaken an initial multi-centre pilot study on phantom materials.
Current status: A consensus document on agreed optical and acoustic phantom properties is currently under consideration by the consortium and feedback is being integrated before going through a consensus vote. A co-polymer-in-oil phantom composition has been proposed for widespread testing, where all constituent materials have defined CAS numbers and are available from commercial chemistry suppliers. A pilot study involving more than 30 partner labs has been designed and is currently underway. A detailed characterisation of the resulting acoustic and optical properties will be used to evaluate the precision and accuracy of phantoms fabricated at multiple sites.
IPASC unites researchers, device developers, and government regulators in achieving standardisation of photoacoustic imaging through community-led consensus-finding.