Intralipid-Based Phantoms for the Development of New Optical Diagnostic Techniques

Maria Lepore1, Ines Delfino2, *
1 Department of Experimental Medicine, University of Campania - 'Luigi Vanvitelli', Napoli, Italy
2 Department of Biological and Ecological Sciences, Tuscia University, Viterbo, Italy

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Creative Commons License
© 2019 Lepore and Delfino.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: ( This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at Department of Biological and Ecological Sciences, Tuscia University, Viterbo, Italy; Tel: +39 0761357026;


Intralipid is a material widely employed for the preparation of phantoms for optical imaging and biophotonics applications in medical field. The development of new optical diagnostic equipment in these fields requires the use of well-designed phantoms with optical properties (including scattering and absorption) mimicking those of biological tissues in all the pre-clinical stages of investigations. For this reason, great research effort has been devoted to optically characterize Intralipid and at preparing optimal phantoms. In this short review, we summarize the principal physico-chemical characteristics of Intralipid and the main contributions in the assessment of its scattering and absorption properties. In addition, the most largely used Intralipid-based homogeneous and non-homogeneous phantoms are discussed. Even though other materials are available for the preparation of phantoms, the use of Intralipid still offers an inexpensive and easy-to-use method for preparing phantoms with finely tuned optical properties.

Keywords: Intralipid, Optical phantom, Absorption coefficient, Scattering coefficient, Time-resolved spectroscopy, Biophotonics applications.