Assessment of a noninvasive optical photoplethysmography imaging device with dynamic tissue phantom models

C. Ikenna Nwafor, Kevin D. Plant, Darlene R. King, Brian P. McCall, John J. Squiers, Wensheng Fan, J. Michael Dimaio, Jeffrey E. Thatcher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Noncontact photoplethysmography (PPG) has been studied as a method to provide low-cost, noninvasive, two-dimensional blood oxygenation measurements and medical imaging for a variety of near-surface pathologies. To evaluate this technology in a laboratory setting, dynamic tissue phantoms were developed with tunable parameters that mimic physiologic properties of the skin, including blood vessel volume change, pulse wave frequency, and tissue scattering and absorption. Tissue phantoms were generated using an elastic tubing to represent a blood vessel where the luminal volume could be modulated with a pulsatile fluid flow. The blood was mimicked with a scattering and absorbing motility standard, and the tissue with a gelatin-lipid emulsion hydrogel. A noncontact PPG imaging system was then evaluated using the phantoms. Noncontact PPG imaging accurately identified pulse frequency, and PPG signals from these phantoms suggest that the phantoms can be used to evaluate noncontact PPG imaging systems. Such information may be valuable to the development of future PPG imaging systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number096003
JournalJournal of biomedical optics
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2017


  • medical imaging
  • photoplethysmography
  • tissue phantom

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering


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