UROP Openings

Have a UROP opening you would like to submit?

Please fill out the form.

Submit your UROP opening

Anatomically Realistic Ultrasound Phantom Design and Fabrication




MAS: Media Arts and Sciences

Faculty Supervisor:

Canan Dagdeviren

Faculty email:


Apply by:

As soon as possible


Rachel McIntosh, rmcintos@mit.edu

Project Description

Ultrasound phantoms, realistic models of body parts that mimic the acoustic properties of human tissues, are a critical part of the evaluation process for ultrasound devices designed for the early detection and diagnosis of a wide variety of health conditions, including organ-specific cancers. Acting as an intermediate step between device fabrication and patient trials, phantoms allow researchers to rigorously and safely test and calibrate new devices throughout the design process, thus saving time and reducing cost. Furthermore, phantoms allow ultrasound technician trainees to thoroughly practice new skills without requiring a human subject. We seek to create (1) a dynamic ultrasound phantom (i.e., one that fills and drains) of the bladder that is more anatomically accurate than any other phantom on the market to provide a more realistic assessment of conformable devices made to detect bladder abnormalities and dysfunctions; and (2) an ultrasound breast phantom that captures tissue heterogeneity in order to evaluate devices designed for the early detection of breast cancer. This project is part of a larger effort to develop flexible, conformable ultrasound sensors for the body (you can learn more about our lab, the Conformable Decoders, here: https://www.media.mit.edu/groups/conformable-decoders/overview/). We have already completed initial design and prototyping of the phantoms, and are looking for a student to assist with design critique, fabrication of tissue-mimicking materials, and assembly of the final phantom. Because of the fabrication aspect of this project, the student must be allowed to access campus and be willing to work in-person (further details about who is allowed to access campus for the fall can be found here: https://covid19.mit.edu/further-decisions-about-the-fall-semester).


Desired background (two or more): fabrication techniques (3D printing, thermoforming, molding techniques, etc.), 3D design, experience with tissue-mimicking materials, or experience with Raspberry Pi or other microcomputers/microcontrollers. If you don’t have the background but are highly motivated and passionate about building things in the space of medical devices please apply.