The phantom preparation procedure is described, including the employed method to obtain a stratified object. PDMS was chosen as the bulk material. TiO2 was used as light scattering agent. Dye and ink were adopted to mimic, respectively, oxy-hemoglobin and melanin absorption spectra. By varying the amount of the incorporated components, we created a material with tunable optical properties.
Monolayer and multilayered phantoms were designed to allow several characterization methods. Among them, we can name: X-ray tomography for structural information; Diffuse Reflectance Spectroscopy (DRS) with a homemade fibered bundle system for optical characterization; and Raman depth profiling with a commercial confocal Raman microscope for structural information and for our final objective.
For each technique, the obtained results are presented and correlated when possible.
A few words are said on our final objective. Raman depth profiles of the multilayered phantoms are distorted by elastic scattering. The signal attenuation through each single layer is directly dependent on its own scattering property. Therefore, determining the optical properties, obtained here with DRS, is crucial to properly correct Raman depth profiles. Thus, it would be permitted to consider quantitative studies on skin for drug permeation follow-up or hydration assessment, for instance.