An Investigation of Preservation Techniques for Creating a Full Compartment Phantom
MetadataShow full item record
This project is an investigation of the viability of preservation techniques for use in developing phantoms for use in Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry (DXA) and Computed Tomography (CT) imaging. Two rats were preserved in PEG (polyethylene glycol) or MTMS (methyltrimethoxysilane) following naval archeology preservation techniques and plastination. These subjects were imaged before and after preservation using Computed Tomography (CT) imaging and Dual X-ray Absorptiometry (DXA) body composition techniques. The initial scanning of each of the rats used DXA and CT to provide a standard for results to compare the specimens after preservation. The rat used for MTMS preservation was larger and provided better CT imaging both before and after preservation, while the rat used for PEG impregnation was smaller and the contrast for organ identification was limited both before and after PEG preservation. However, MTMS preservation still affected the Hounsfield values and many internal organs such as the liver and brain shrank after the completion of the plastination process. The PEG preservation appeared to have homogenized HU numbers when compared to the initial scans and produced air pockets in the final CT scans of the specimen. The tissue composition measurements from the PEG impregnation as calculated by DXA were much more accurate when compared to the original tissue composition values. The bone mineral content was fairly accurate and unchanged for both MTMS and PEG preservation procedures, but DXA greatly overestimated the lean tissue measurements after MTMS plastination and calculated them to be much greater than the total mass. The DXA also greatly underestimated the fat content, calculating an impossible negative mass. The MTMS plastination lasted longer than the PEG impregnation. It is possible the PEG preservation did not penetrate into the internal organs and tissues and the specimen continued to decompose in the weeks following the experiment. The MTMS preservation specimen is still well preserved three years later.
Dale, Alice (2014). An Investigation of Preservation Techniques for Creating a Full Compartment Phantom. Master's thesis, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from