Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering


Biomedical Engineering

Committee Chair

Joseph Rispoli

Committee Member 1

Craig Goergen

Committee Member 2

Ulrike Dydak


Phantoms, which are non-biological test objects, are used to validate a variety of biomedical imaging modalities for accuracy and safety. In MRI, phantoms can be used, specifically, to test safety with regards to SAR and RF heating. This is of particular importance when developing new imaging protocols related to a specific anatomy, MRI use, or other software or hardware updates. Discussed in this thesis is the creation of an anatomically accurate breast phantom for safety testing before use of novel MRI protocols for breast cancer diagnostic imaging. Previous MRI breast phantoms are either homogeneous or have barriers between tissue types, which is not representative of real anatomies. Liquid phantoms are not an accurate representation of how heat is transferred through the body. Additionally, each tissue in the body has it’s own unique dielectric property and averaging them into one material is not an accurate representation of biological systems. In the new phantom created, each material is verified for dielectric accuracy as a liquid and gel, using an open-ended coaxial probe. These materials are then combined to construct a breast phantom that is more anatomically accurate than current models, as confirmed with MRI.