DIY Ultrasound Phantom Compendium

DIY ultrasound phantom development – as far as we can tell – first entered academic literature in 1978 where Madsen et al. catalogued their efforts to develop a gelatin based analog. Over the next 40 – and particularly the past ten – years a growing body of academic and kitchen based experimentation has emerged to develop ultrasound simulation tools. Approached daily for advice on how to continue to develop skills in a cost effective way, we made it our mission to create a comprehensive phantom resource for all POCUS users. So we’ve catalogued over 110 different resources from 1978 to 2023, grouped broadly into 20 categories – from abscesses to vascular access. We’ve also included coupling gel recipes. In doing so, we have for the first time tracked the development of the design of DIY phantoms; from basic gelatin moulds, designers are now experimenting with 3D printing and Linux based image generation. And each has a slightly different twist – using materials that even appeal to both the vegetarians and the carnivores among us; who would have thought tofu was so useful?Unlike the Ghost Who Walks, the low-cost, easy to make ultrasound training phantom is no longer a myth shrouded in the mists of time. [Created 25 April 2017; Updated 10 November 2023]

So – thanks to the efforts and passion of hundreds of individuals – we present forty years of development in ‘The Phantoms DIY Compendium’. Why not give one a go?

Abscess and foreign body phantoms

Homemade ultrasound phantom for teaching identification of superficial soft tissue abscess
Mark D Lo, S Heath Ackley, Patrick Solari, Emerg Med J 2012;29:738-741
Gelatin phantom for simulating abscess in superficial soft tissue infection; injected ultrasound gel to simulate abscess; tips and tricks for construction.

Ultrasound Phantoms Made Of Gelatin Covered With Hydrocolloid Skin Dressing
Shao-Lun Chao, Kuo-Chih Chen, Li-Wei Lin, Tzong-Luen Wang, Chee-Fah Chong, The Journal of Emergency Medicine, Vol. 45, No. 2, pp. 240–243, 2013
Gelatin phantom for central venous catheterisation, abscess drainage, foreign body removal; addition of hydrocolloid skin dressing to reduce surface disruption; utilisation of pipette bulb to simulate cyst, latex tubing to simulate vessels.

How to make & practice with an ultrasound phantom for IVs, lines, abscess
Gordon Johnson, YouTube Published 28 August 2016 Accessed April 20, 2017 –

Versatile, Reusable, and Inexpensive Ultrasound Phantom Procedural Trainers
Dustin S. Morrow, Julia A. Cupp, Joshua S. Broder, J Ultrasound Med 2016; 35:831–841
Ballistics gel phantom for central venous access, lumbar puncture, abscess drainage.

An Inexpensive and Easy Ultrasound Phantom: A Novel Use for SPAM
Laura Nolting, Patrick Hunt, Thomas Cook, Barton Douglas, J Ultrasound Med 2016; 35:819–822
Spam phantom for foreign body, abscess, vascular access simulation.

An Easy-to-Make, Low-Cost Ultrasound Phantom for Simulation Training in Abscess Identification and Aspiration
Juliana Wilson, Lorraine Ng, Vaughn Browne, Resa E. Lewiss, J UltrasoundMed 2017; 00:00–00
Gelatin phantom for simulating abscess in superficial soft tissue infection; injected ultrasound gel to simulate abscess; tips and tricks for construction.

A New Simulation Model for Skin Abscess Identification and Management
Jason Heiner, Simulation in Healthcare: The Journal of the Society for Simulation in Healthcare: August 2010 – Volume 5 – Issue 4 – p 238-241
Artificial abscess wall tunneled near the surface of a chicken breast is injected with mock purulent material.

Biliary phantoms

An Inexpensive and Easy-to-Make Simulation Model of Biliary Ultrasound That Mimics Normal Anatomy and Abnormal Biliary Conditions
Chen He, Leigh M. Wright, Turandot Saul, Resa E. Lewiss, Journal of Diagnostic Medical Sonography (2013) 29(3) 144–148
Gelatin based phantom utilising olive oil filled latex glove fingers with added materials to mimic normal and abnormal gallbladder.

Biopsy phantoms

An easily made ultrasound biopsy phantom
Knud Erik Fredfeldt, J Ultrasound Med 1986; 5:295-297
Agar phantom construction for biopsy needle practice.

Preparation of a homemade ultrasound biopsy phantom
M. P. McNamara Jr., Meghan Edith McNamara, J Clin Ultrasound 17:456-458, July/August 1989
Gelatin phantom construction for biopsy needle practice

A simple phantom for learning needle placement for sonographically guided biopsy
Bruce Silver, Ted S. Metzger, Terence A. S. Matalon, AJR 154:847-848, April 1990
Agar phantom utilising target objects in barium enema bag.

New ex-vivo porcine model for endoscopic ultrasound guided training in transmural puncture and drainage of pancreatic cysts and fluid collections (with videos)
Todd H. Baron, Thomas M. DeSimio, Endosc Ultrasound 2015;4:34-9

A low-cost, easy to make ultrasound phantom for training healthcare providers in pleural fluid identification and task simulation in ultrasound guided paracentesis
Juliana Wilson, Alex Wilson, Resa E. Lewiss, Visual Journal of Emergency Medicine 8 (2017) 29-31
Gelatin phantom use to simulate paracentesis.

Realistic and Inexpensive Ultrasound Guided Paracentesis Simulator Using Pork Belly with Skin
Jonathan Kei and Donald P Mebust. JETem 2018. 3(3):I27-32
The pork belly paracentesis simulator is designed to instruct Emergency Medicine (EM) residents and Emergency Medicine-bound students

Paracentesis Simulator DIY
Jee Leclerc
16 December 2021

Breast phantoms

Training phantom for ultrasound guided biopsy
R A Nicholson, M Crofton, The British Journal of Radiology, 70 (1997), 192–194
Gelatin breast phantom for biopsy needle practice.

A low-cost gelatin phantom for learning sonographically guided interventional breast radiology techniques
Gale A. Sisney, Karen A. Hunt, AJR 171: 65-66 July 1998
Gelatin breast phantom for biopsy needle practice; addition of targets to mimic cystic lesions.

Addition of Metamucil to Gelatin for a Realistic Breast Biopsy Phantom
Helen Morehouse, Harshada Pranav Thaker, Chandowti Persaud, J Ultrasound Med 2007; 26:1123–1126
Gelatin breast phantom for biopsy needle practice; addition of water filled balloons to mimic cystic lesions.

A Novel Technique for Teaching Challenging Ultrasound-Guided Breast Procedures to Radiology Residents
Joseph Sutcliffe, Rulon L. Hardman, Nella Carol Dornbluth, Ken A. Kist, J Ultrasound Med 2013; 32:1845–1854
Gelatin breast phantom for biopsy needle practice; addition of targets to mimic cystic lesions.

Paraffin-gel tissue mimicking material for ultrasound guided needle biopsy phantom
Silvio L. Vieira, Theo Z. Pavan, Jorge E. Junior, Antonio A. O. Carneiro, Ultrasound in Med. & Biol., Vol. 39, No. 12, pp. 2477–2484, 2013
Paraffin-gel wax breast phantom for biopsy needle practice.

Technical Note: Multipurpose CT, ultrasound, and MRI breast phantom for use in radiotherapy and minimally invasive interventions
Mark Ruschina, Sean R. H. Davidson, William Phounsy, Tae Sun Yoo, Lee Chin, Jean-Philippe Pignol, Ananth Ravi, Claire McCann, Medical Physics, Vol. 43, No. 5, May 2016
Ballistic gel phantom including simulated tumours for training in breast procedures such as catheter or needle insertion.

Cardiac phantoms

An inexpensive, easily constructed, reusable task trainer for simulating ultrasound-guided pericardiocentesis
H Zerth, R Harwood, L Tommaso, DV Girzadas Jr., J Emerg Med. 2012 Dec;43(6):1066-9
Gelatin phantom for pericardiocentesis simulation; addition of balloon and golf ball to mimic pathology.

Assessment of a Low-Cost Ultrasound Pericardiocentesis Model
Marco Campo dell’Orto, Dorothea Hempel, Agnieszka Starzetz, Armin Seibel, Ulf Hannemann, Felix Walcher, Raoul Breitkreutz, Emergency Medicine International Volume 2013, Article ID 376415, pages 1-7
Gel wax phantom for pericardiocentesis simulation; addition of balloon and celluloid tennis ball to mimic pathology.

Adapting Gel Wax into an Ultrasound-Guided Pericardiocentesis Model at Low Cost
R Daly, J Planas, M Edens, Western Journal of Emergency Medicine 2017;18(1):114-116.
Gel-wax phantom for pericardiocentesis simulation; addition of pingpong ball to mimic pathology.

Modification of Daly’s Do-it-yourself, Ultrasound-guided Pericardiocentesis Model for Added External Realism
T Young, H Kuntz, Western Journal of Emergency Medicine, 19(3): 465-466.
Modified Daly gel-wax phantom for pericardiocentesis simulation.

Endoanal and rectal phantoms

Novel Homemade Trans-Rectal Ultrasound Biopsy Training Phantom
Ahmad M. Omar, Altaf Q. Khattak, Pervaiz J. Amirzadah, Curr Urol 2008;2:97–99
Agar-based trans-rectal ultrasound prostatic biopsy phantom

Development of an In-house Endoanal Ultrasound Teaching Phantom
S. Abbas Shobeiri, Ghazaleh Rostaminia, Hediyeh Shobeiri, J Ultrasound Med 2013; 32:1393–1396
Polymer resin and mineral oil gel endoanal phantom construction.

Development of Colorectal Phantom to Evaluate New Ultrasound Elastography Technique
F. W. Grillo, A. Colello Bruno, D. R. T. Sampaio, T. Z. Pavan, A. A. O. Carneiro, XXIV Congresso Brasileiro de Engenharia Biomédica – CBEB 2014: 2516-2518
Paraffin based phantom that mimics the colon and simulates lesions.

Gynaecology phantoms

A training phantom for ultrasound-guided needle insertion and suturing
Khashayar Nattagh, Timmy Siauw, Jean Pouliot, I-Chow Hsu, J. Adam Cunha, Brachytherapy , Volume 13 , Issue 4 , (2014): 413 – 419
Gynecologic gelatin phantom designed to be used as a training tool for medical residents in gynecologic brachytherapy; puncturable cervix enables use in transrectal US image-guided needle insertion, suturing of the cervical lip, and placing a suture on the vaginal wall that is meant to secure a BT tandem.

TA/TV Uterine phantom – version 2 October 2017
TA/TV Uterine ultrasound phantom – version 1

Simon Wilson @gppocus
Based on the work by Nattagh et al at the University of California (designed for brachytherapy training using a endo-rectal US probe), this phantom is designed for trans-abdominal or tran-vaginal US scanning of the uterus – for IUD location or instrumentation for 2nd Trimester dilation and evacuation to effect TOP.

Early Pregnancy Ultrasound Training Models
YouTube Published 31 July 2017Accessed October 20, 2017 –
Early pregnancy ultrasound training using gelatin models that replicate the early fetus in the uterus.

Self-made transvaginal ultrasound simulator: new training equipment in ultrasound evaluation of controlled ovarian stimulation and oocyte retrieval
Cavalcante MB, Zanforlin Filho SM, Chagouri Ocké WBN, Pessoas Caldas MM, da Silva PHA, Ferraz AA, Pires CR, Júnior EA.
J Ultrason. 2023 May 11;23(93):e73-e79.
This phantom was designed to enable instruction and practice in the evaluation of ovarian follicles and ultrasound-guided oocyte retrieval in a supervised training environment. This self-made simulator is proposed as a training tool that could be included in the curricular structure of residency and postgraduate programs in reproductive medicine.

Head and neck phantoms

An easily made, low-cost phantom for ultrasound airway exam training and assessment
K. M. Schroeder, J. Ramamoorthy, R. E. Galgon, Indian J Anaesth 2013; 57:31-4
Pig laryngotracheal complex immersed in gelatin phantom for ultrasound guided airway assessment; utilisation of balloon to inflate airway.

A Cost-effective, Gelatin-Based Phantom Model for Learning Ultrasound-Guided Fine-Needle Aspiration Procedures of the Head and Neck
Clare Richardson, Stewart Bernard, Vi Am Dinh, J Ultrasound Med 2015; 34:1479–1484
Two gelatin phantoms for instruction on fine-needle aspiration technique for the head and neck; first imitated ‘nodules’ with target objects; second utilised pig laryngotracheal complex inflated with balloon to maintain airway competency.

A Simple, Inexpensive Phantom Model for Intubation Ultrasonography Training
Jade Seguin, Mark Oliver Tessaro, Chest. 2017;151(5):1194-1196
Gelatin and ballistics gel phantoms to simulate the ultrasound appearance of esophageal and tracheal intubations. Accompanying video below.

A novel training simulator for portable ultrasound identification of incorrect newborn endotracheal tube placement – observational diagnostic accuracy study protocol
Merali, H.S., Tessaro, M.O., Ali, K.Q. et al.. BMC Pediatr 19, 434 (2019) doi:10.1186/s12887-019-1717-y

Simulator-based ultrasound training for identification of endotracheal tube placement in a neonatal intensive care unit using point of care ultrasound
Ali, K.Q., Soofi, S.B., Hussain, A.S. et al. BMC Med Educ 20, 409 (2020).

Liver phantoms

diy ultrasound phantom

Multimodal Phantom of Liver Tissue
Magdalena K. Chmarra, Rune Hansen, Ronald Marvik, Thomas Langø, PLOS ONE May 2013 | Volume 8 | Issue 5
Agar, glycerol, sephadex and candle gel multimodal liver phantom with three types of mimicked soft tissues: liver parenchyma, tumors, and portal veins.

A Tissue Phantom Model for Training Residents in Ultrasound-guided Liver Biopsy
Aarti Sekhar, Maryellen R. Sun, Bettina Siewert, Acad Radiol 2014; 21:902–908
Bovine and porcine tissue phantom developed for training in percutaneous liver biopsy.

Lung phantoms

diy ultrasound phantom

Creating thoracic phantoms for diagnostic and procedural ultrasound training
James Rippey, Ian Gawthrope, AJUM May 2012 15 (2): 43-54
Thoracic phantoms (two) using chicken breast, pork ribs, sponge and bucket; mimics normal lung, pleural effusion, pneumothorax, wet lung/interstitial oedema.

Hand Ultrasound: A High-fidelity Simulation of Lung Sliding
Hamid Shokoohi, Keith Boniface, Academic Emergency Medicine, September 2012, Vol. 19, No. 9: 1079-1083
Utilisation of your hand to mimic pleural ultrasound images, including lung sliding and pneumothorax.

A Low Cost Training Phantom for Lung Ultrasonography
Han Ho Do, Sanghun Lee, Chest, Volume 150, Issue 6, December 2016, Pages 1417–1419
Gelatin phantom construction; addition of dressing foam and balloons to mimic pneumothorax, pulmonary oedema, pleural effusion and pneumonia.

A low-cost, easy to make ultrasound phantom for training healthcare providers in pleural fluid identification and task simulation in ultrasound guided thoracentesis
Juliana Wilson, Carrie Myers, Resa E. Lewiss, Visual Journal of Emergency Medicine 8 (2017) 80–81
Gelatin phantom use to simulate thoracentesis.

A lung phantom model to study pulmonary edema using lung ultrasound surface wave elastography
Jinling Zhou, Xiaoming Zhang. Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology , Volume 0 , Issue 0
A phantom study was carried out in the study described here to evaluate the application of LUSWE to assess lung water for pulmonary edema. A lung phantom model with cellulose sponge was used; various volumes of water were injected into the sponge to model lung water

Musculoskeletal phantoms

diy ultrasound phantom

Validation of Ultrasound Measurement of the Subacromial Space Using A Novel Shoulder Phantom Model
Karen McCreesh, Pratik Adusumilli, Tony Evans, Sara Riley, Andrew Davies, Jeremy Lewis, Ultrasound in Med. & Biol., Vol. -, No. -, pp. 1–5, 2014
3D printed shoulder and mould utilising gelatin soft tissue mimic for training in acromiohumeral distance examination.

A Low-Cost, Reusable, Ballistic Gelatin Ultrasound Phantom for Simulation of Glenohumeral Intraarticular Injections
Aalap Shah, Society for Academic Emergency Medicine doi: 10.1002/aet2.10081
Ballistic gelatin US phantom for simulation of glenohumeral intraarticular injection

Ocular phantoms

diy ultrasound phantom

An Inexpensive and Easy Simulation Model of Ocular Ultrasound That Mimics Normal Anatomy as Well as Abnormal Ophthalmologic Conditions
Farrukh Jafri, Daniel Runde, Turandot Saul, Resa E. Lewiss, J Ultrasound Med 2011; 30:569–573
Gelatin phantom for ocular ultrasound; instructions to mimic retinal detachment, retrobulbar hematoma, vitreous hemorrhage.

Low cost ocular ultrasound phantom for the training in the diagnosis of the emergency eye pathology
Jorge Luis Cuevas Gonzales, Crit Ultrasound J (2012) 4(suppl 1): A26
Gelatin ethanol ocular phantom with instructions to mimic foreign body, ICP elevation, vitreous hemorrhage, retinal detachment.

Validation of a Low-cost Optic Nerve Sheath Ultrasound Phantom: An Educational Tool
David L. Murphy, Stephanie H. Oberfoell, Stacy A. Trent, Andrew J. French, Daniel J. Kim, David B. Richards, Journal of Medical Ultrasound (2017), XX: 1-5
Gelatin ocular phantom simulates in vivo posterior ocular anatomy, optic nerve sheath diameter

Prostate phantoms

diy ultrasound phantom

How to Make a Cheap and Simple Prostate Phantom
Richard Wilkin, Rebecca Hamm, J Ultrasound Med 2010; 29:1151–1152
Gelatin prostate phantom biopsy model utilising corned beef for prostate simulation.

Renal phantoms

Development of a range of anatomically realistic renal artery flow phantomsdiy ultrasound phantom
Deirdre M. King, Michael Ring, Carmel M. Moran, Jacinta E. Browne, Ultrasound in Med. & Biol., Vol. 36, No. 7, pp. 1135–1144, 2010
Renal artery flow phantom.

Soft 3D-Printed Phantom of the Human Kidney with Collecting System
Fabian Adams,Tian Qiu, Andrew Mark, Benjamin Fritz, Lena Kramer, Daniel Schlager, Ulrich Wetterauer, Arkadiusz Miernik, Peer Fischer, Annals of Biomedical Engineering, Vol. 45, No. 4, April 2017 pp. 963-972
Soft kidney phantoms using combination of 3D wax printing and polymer molding.

A 5-Dollar Nephrostomy Training Phantom Using Common Household and Hospital Supplies
Steven D. Shamah, Benjamin May, JVIR Volume 28 Number 11 November 2017

Scrotum phantoms

Scrotal US phantoms
Dr Simon Wilson Melbourne Australia. Oct 2023

Skull phantoms

diy ultrasound phantom

Creation of a High-fidelity, Low-cost Pediatric Skull Fracture Ultrasound Phantom
Zachary P. Soucy, Lisa Mills, John S. Rose, Kenneth Kelley, Francisco Ramirez, Nathan Kuppermann, J Ultrasound Med 2015; 34:1473–1478
Gelatin phantom utilising coconut shells to mimic skull fractures.

Spine phantoms

diy ultrasound phantom

Model for Ultrasound-Assisted Lumbar Puncture Training
Melissa Bollinger, Joel Schofer, Michael Bauman, Paul Sierzenski, Jason Nomura, Special Issue: 2009 SAEM Annual Meeting Abstracts Volume 16, Issue 7, 596,
Gelled mineral oil lumbar spine phantom.

A Low-Cost Ultrasound Phantom of the Lumbosacral Spine
Geoff A. Bellingham, Philip W.H. Peng, Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine & Volume 35, Number 3, May-June 2010, pages 290-293
Adult spine model immersed in gelatin to train the basic skills for ultrasound guided procedures of the lumbosacral spine.

Gelatin-Agar Lumbosacral Spine Phantom
Jia Wei Li, Manoj K. Karmakar, Xiang Li, Wing Hong Kwok, Warwick Dean Ngan Kee, J Ultrasound Med 2011; 30:263–272
Gelatin agar phantom with adult spine model immersed; central neuraxial blocks.

Development of an Ultrasound Phantom for Spinal Injections With 3-Dimensional Printing
Simeon J. West, Jean-Martial Mari, Azalea Khan, Jordan H. Y. Wan, Wenjie Zhu, Ioannis G. Koutsakos, Matthew Rowe, Damon Kamming, Adrien E. Desjardins, Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine, Volume 39, Number 5, September-October 2014: 429-433
3D printed spine embedded in agar gel for use in ultrasound guided spinal insertions.

Versatile, Reusable, and Inexpensive Ultrasound Phantom Procedural Trainers
Dustin S. Morrow, Julia A. Cupp, Joshua S. Broder, J Ultrasound Med 2016; 35:831–841
Ballistics gel phantoms for creation of central venous access, lumbar puncture, abscess drainage. Guidelines and instructions provided.

Low-cost 3D printed phantom for neuraxial anesthesia training:
A Mashari et al, PLoS ONE 13(6): e0191664..
Fabrication of a 3D printed neuraxial phantom based on CT scan data.

Upper abdominal phantoms

A Tissue-Equivalent Upper Abdominal Phantomdiy ultrasound phantom
Ann L. Scherzinger, Paul L. Carson, William Clayman, William Carter, Michael L. Johnson, Carol Rashbaum, J Ultrasound Med 2 455-462, Oclober 1983: 455-462
Copolymer styrene-butaeiene resin house in urethane plastic bag in this early model DIY.

​​​​​Deep Needle Model
Blue Team YouTube Uploaded on 27 June 2016 Accessed August 28, 2017 –
Home made thoracentesis model.

Realistic and inexpensive ultrasound phantoms to demonstrate aortic aneurysm and aortic dissection
Rathbun, K.M., Harryman, C.F. and Moore, C. (2022) | Australas J Ultrasound Med, 25: 195-199.
Realistic, affordable, easily reproducible phantoms for use in teaching clinicians to use ultrasoundwhen evaluating patients for aortic aneurysm and/or aortic dissection.

Vascular access, needle guidance and nerve block phantoms

diy ultrasound phantomA reusable ultrasound phantom
J. Chantler, L. Gale, Anaesthesia, 2004, 59, page 1145-1146
Agar phantom for central venous cannulation; addition of silastic tubing to mimic vessels.

Ultrasound Phantom for Hands-On Practice
Daquan Xu, Sherif Abbas, Vincent W.S. Chan, Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine Vol. 30 No. 6 November–December 2005: 595-594
Tendon-embedded porcine phantom for ultrasound imaging for nerve blocks.

Ultrasound-guided central venous access: a homemade phantom for simulation
John L. Kendall, Jeffrey P. Faragher, Can J Emerg Med 2007;9(5):371-3
Gelatin phantom for vascular access.

Introducing ultrasound-guided vein catheterization into clinical practice: A step-by-step guide for organizing a hands-on training program with inexpensive handmade models
S. Di Domenico, M. Licausi, E. Porcile, F. Piaggio, B. Troilo, M. Centanaro, U. Valente, Journal of Ultrasound (2008) 11, 135-142
Agar phantom for central venous cannulation; addition of silastic tubing to mimic vessels.

A gelatine-based ultrasound phantom
C. L. Osmer, Anaesthesia, 2008, 63, page 107
Gelatin phantom for central venous access or regional blockade; layered approach for inclusion of target objects; addition of sponge at base to reduce artefacts.

Ultrasound venous access simulation: the Italian job
A Rose, F Reynolds, Emerg Med J January 2009 Vol 26 No 1: 76
Gelatin with pasta inserted to create a very cheap venous access simulator.

The polony phantom: a cost-effective aid for teaching emergency ultrasound procedures
Mike Wells, Lara Goldstein, Int J Emerg Med (2010) 3:115–118
Utilisation of processed meat products to create vascular access and nerve block phantom.

​​​​​​​The use of Gelatine models in Ultrasound guided Intravenous Cannulation
​​​​​​​susinfo1, ​​​​​​​YouTube Uploaded on 23 Mar 2011 Accessed April 20, 2017 –
Gelatine training model for US guided IVC.

​​​​​​​Phantom De Gelatina Para Punción Ecoguiada. Homemade Phantom For USG Techniques (Spanish)
Vicente Roques Escolar ​​​​​​​YouTube uploaded on 1 Nov 2011
Accessed April 20, 2017 ––JwA3n0

A low cost reusable phantom for ultrasound guided subclavian vein cannulation
​​​​​​​Varun Cheruparambath, Sriram Sampath, Lakshmikantan N. Deshikar, Haji Mohammed Ismail, Krishna Bhuvana, ​​​​​​​Indian J Crit Care Med. 2012 Jul-Sep; 16(3): 163-165
​​​​​​​Gelatin phantom for subclavian central venous cannulation; addition of plastic tubing and rods to mimic veins, arteries and clavicle.

​​​​​​​Homemade ultrasound IV model
​​​​​​​Siegfried Emme, ​​​​​​​YouTube Published on 30 Nov 2012 Accessed April 20, 2017 –
This is a cheap method to create a homemade ultrasound iv model.​​​​​​​

Ultrasound Phantoms Made Of Gelatin Covered With Hydrocolloid Skin Dressing
​​​​​​​Shao-Lun Chao, Kuo-Chih Chen, Li-Wei Lin, Tzong-Luen Wang, Chee-Fah Chong, ​​​​​​​The Journal of Emergency Medicine, Vol. 45, No. 2, pp. 240–243, 2013
​​​​​​​Gelatin phantom for central venous catheterisation, abscess drainage, foreign body removal; addition of hydrocolloid skin dressing to reduce surface disruption; utilisation of pipette bulb to simulate cyst, latex tubing to simulate vessels.

A Novel Phantom for Teaching and Learning Ultrasound-guided Needle Manipulation
Syed Farjad Sultan*, Gabriella Iohom, George Shorten
Journal of Medical Ultrasound (2013) 21, 152e155​​​​​​

Home Made IV Access Ultrasound Phantom
​​​​​​​J Spurr, ​​​​​​​Injectable Orange Website Published 8 May 2013
Accessed April 20, 2017 –
​​​​​​​Gelatin phantom for IV access phantom – modified Siegfied Emme model (above).

​​​​​​​Comprehensive Curriculum for Phantom-Based Training of Ultrasound-Guided Intercostal Nerve and Stellate Ganglion Blocks
​​​​​​​Anne-Kathrin Brascher, James Allen Blunk, Katrin Bauer, Robert Feldmann Jr., Justus Benrath, Pain Med. 2014 Oct;15(10):1647-56
Guar gum intercostal nerve (ICB) and stellate ganglion block (SGB) phantoms evaluated as part of a training program.Vascular access and nerve block.

​​​​​​​A low cost, high fidelity nerve block model
​​​​​​​Scott Sparks, David Evans, Don Byars, Critical Ultrasound Journal 2014, 6:12
​​​​​​​Phantom for ultrasound guided nerve blocks; produced with a single pork loin with pressure-injected ultrasound gel through both CAT 5 cable and IV tubing inserted length-wise into the pork loin.

Advanced Low-Cost Ultrasound-Guided Vascular Access Simulation: The Chicken Breast Model
​​​​​​​Joan Sanchez-de-Toledo, Ivan Villaverde, Pediatric Emergency Care Volume 00, Number 00, Month 2015
​​​​​​​Chicken vascular access model

​​​​​​​Gelatin model for training ultrasound-guided puncture
​​​​​​​Alexandre Campos Moraes Amato, Stephanie Lopes de Freitas, Patrícia Maquinêz Veloso, Tamara Cristine Vieira Correia, Ricardo Virginio dos Santos, Salvador José de Toledo Arruda Amato, ​​​​​​​J Vasc Bras. 2015 July-Sept.; 14(3):200-204
​​​​​​​Gelatin phantom construction for vascular access.

A novel and inexpensive ballistic gel phantom for ultrasound training
​​​​​​​Richard Amini, Jeffrey Z Kartchner, Lori A Stolz, David Biffar, Allan J Hamilton, Srikar Adhikari, ​​​​​​​World J Emerg Med 2015;6(3):225–228
Ballistic gel phantom; inclusion of latex tubing to mimic four vessel lumens for peripheral IV simulation.

​​​​​​​UGIV Simulator: 5 minute sonoblog
​​​​​​​Jacob Avila, ​​​​​​​5 MinuteSono Blog ​​​​​​​Published on 23 December 2015 Accessed April 20, 2017 –
Ballistics gel phantom with latex tubing inserted for ultrasound guided IV access.

Cost-effective, reusable, leak-resistant ultrasound-guided vascular access trainer
​​​​​​​Dustin S. Morrow, Joshua Broder, ​​​​​​​The Journal of Emergency Medicine, Vol. 49, No. 3, pp. 313–317, 2015
​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Ballistic gel phantom construction with latex tubing inserted to simulate vascular access.

An affordable and easily constructed model for training in ultrasound guided vascular access
​​​​​​​James C. R. Rippey, Pablo Blanco, Peter J. Carr, ​​​​​​​J Vasc Access 2015; 16 (5): 422-427
​​​​​​​Chicken breast phantom for central venous access, peripheral venous access and peripheral arterial access; balloons, silicone tubing to mimic veins and arteries.

​​​​​​​How to make a meat model for UGRA
​​​​​​​Cynthia Shum, ​​​​​​​YouTube Published on 13 Jun 2015 Accessed April 20, 2017 –
How to Create a Meat Model for UGRA.

Agar ultrasound phantoms for low-cost training without refrigeration
​​​​​​​Matthew Earle, Giuliano De Portu, Elizabeth De Vos, ​​​​​​​African Journal of Emergency Medicine (2016) 6, 18-23
​​​​​​​Agar phantom testing; addition of Penrose drains and latex balloons as vessel analogues, nitrile gloves as skin surrogate; optimal agar recipe provided.

​​​​​​​An easily assembled phantom for teaching ultrasound-guided vascular access
​​​​​​​Jordon Lui, Himat Vaghadia, ​​​​​​​Can J Anesth/J Can Anesth, Published online: 24 October 2016
​​​​​​​Saline bag and foley catheter used in this general skills phantom.

Construction of 3-Dimensional Printed Ultrasound Phantoms With Wall-less Vessels
​​​​​​​Daniil I. Nikitichev, Anamaria Barburas, Kirstie McPherson, Jean-Martial Mari, Simeon J. West, Adrien E. Desjardins, ​​​​​​​J Ultrasound Med 2016; 35:1333–1339
Agar wall-less vascular phantoms manufactured using 3D printing.

An Inexpensive and Easy Ultrasound Phantom: A Novel Use for SPAM
​​​​​​​Laura Nolting, Patrick Hunt, Thomas Cook, Barton Douglas, ​​​​​​​J Ultrasound Med 2016; 35:819–822
Spam phantom for foreign body, abscess, vascular access simulation.

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Aventura: DIY US Phantom
​​​​​​​Aventura, YouTube Published on 7 Jul 2016 Accessed April 20, 2017 –

A low-fidelity, high functionality, inexpensive ultrasound-guided nerve block model
Daniel Micheller, Matthew Chapman, Michael Cover, Jonathan Porath, Nik Theyyunni, Ross Kessler, Robert Huang, ​​​​​​​CJEM 2017 19(1): 58-60
Chicken breast phantom for nerve block model: balloons to mimic veins, arteries, nerves

Hog fat…is there anything it cannot do?
M Putland EDCentral Blog accessed 9 March 2017
​​​​​​​Peripheral IVC ultrasound phantom using pork skin

How To: DIY Ultrasound Guided Peripheral IV Phantom
Michael Macias, UCSD Ultrasound Website, accessed 7 December 2017

A comparison of homemade vascular access ultrasound phantom models for peripheral intravenous catheter insertion
Lauren Ann Selame, Zachary Risler, Saami J Zakaria, Liam P Hughes, Resa E Lewiss, Kelly Kehm, Kelly Goodsell, Rishi Kalwani, Daniel Mirsch, Samuel Blake Kluger, Arthur Au
The Journal of Vascular Access (2020) 1–7

​​​​​​​UGIV Simulator: 5 minute sonoblog
​​​​​​​Jacob Avila, ​​​​​​​5 MinuteSono Blog ​​​​​​​Published on 2 July 2018 Accessed July 3, 2018 –
Chicken analog for vascular access.

Ultrasound-guided regional anesthesia simulation: use of meat glue in inexpensive and realistic nerve block models
Naraghi, L., Lin, J., Odashima, K. et al.
BMC Med Educ 19, 145 (2019).
Leily Naraghi*, Judy Lin, Kay Odashima, Simran Buttar, Lawrence Haines and Eitan Dickman
BMC Medical Education (2019) 19:145.
Laura Stevens (Premiered on 19 Mar 2020)
Instructional video on how to make ultrasound phantoms for US-guided biopsy & needle placement and seldinger technique via simple, easy to follow steps using common household and hospital items

A comparison of homemade vascular access ultrasound phantom models for peripheral intravenous catheter insertion 
Lauren Ann Selame, Zachary Risler, Saami J Zakaria, Liam P Hughes, Resa E Lewiss, Kelly Kehm, Kelly Goodsell, Rishi Kalwani, Daniel Mirsch, Samuel Blake Kluger and Arthur Au
The Journal of Vascular Access 1 –7, DOI: 10.1177/1129729820961941

Preparation of an ideal starch phantom
Xiao-Chun Yang, Wen-Bo Nian, Xiang-Xiang Zhang, Xiao-Feng Chang
Journal of Clinical Ultrasound: Sonography and other Imaging Techniques (JCU)
First published: 25 April 2022
Volume50, Issue 5 June 2022 Pages 703-704
Taylor L. Fischer, MMS PA-C |Editors: Mary Haas, MD MHPE

The ultrasound-capable, 3D-printed central line trainer was created to facilitate realistic training of POCUS-guided CVL placement, specifically utilizing the internal jugular vein. The trainer uses a ballistic gel insert that is ultrasound-capable and replaceable, as needed (website link rather than pdf here)

Recipes – including coupling gel

diy ultrasound phantom

Tissue mimicking materials for ultrasound phantoms
​​​​​​​Ernest L. Madsen, James A. Zagzebski, Richard A. Banjavie, Ronald E. Jutila, ​​​​​​​Med. Phys. 5(5), Sep/Oct. 1978; 391-394
​​​​​​​The seminal article on self made tissue mimicking phantoms; utilises Gelatin, distilled water, n-propanol with powdered graphite.

An Easily Made Low-Cost Tissue Like Ultrasound Phantom Material
​​​​​​​Ronald O. Bude, Ronald S. Adler, ​​​​​​​J Clin Ultrasound 23:271-273, May 1995
​​​​​​​The original gelatin based phantom recipe; layered approach for inclusion of target objects.

How to make your own ultrasound gel (which is also sterile and edible and environmentally friendly)
Janice Boughton, Why is American Health Care So Expensive? Website Published 13 February
Accessed April 20, 2017 – Website Link – Coupling gel recipe with using every-day ingredients.

Alternative Ultrasound Gel for a Sustainable Ultrasound Program: Application of Human Centered Design
​​​​​​​Margaret Salmon, Christian Salmon, Alexa Bissinger, Mundenga Mutendi Muller, Alegnta Gebreyesu, Haimanot Geremew, Sarah Wendel, Aklilu Azaz, Maurice Salumu, Nerys Benfield, ​​​​​​​PLOS ONE | DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0134332 August 7, 2015: 11 pages
Coupling g​​​el recipe for resource limited environments.

Shooting With Sound: Optimizing an Affordable Ballistic Gelatin Recipe in a Graded Ultrasound Phantom Education Program
​​​​​​​Shariff F. Tanious, Jamie Cline, Jennifer Cavin, Nathan Davidson, J. Keegan Coleman, Craig W. Goodmurphy, ​​​​​​​J Ultrasound Med 2015; 34:1011–1018
Critical assessment of ballistic gel construction with optimal recipe provided.

General information

diy ultrasound phantom

​​​​​​​A simple tissue-like ultrasound phantom material
​​​​​​​R. A. Lerski, T. C. Duggan, J. Christie, ​​​​​​​1982, British Journal of Radiology, 55, 156-157
​​​​​​​Reticulated foam used as a tissue analog in this early piece.

​​​​​​​A simple phantom for training in ultrasound-guided needle biopsy using the freehand technique
​​​​​​​Bruno D. Fornage, ​​​​​​​J Ultrasound Med 1989; 8:701-703
​​​​​​​Commercial jelly and grapes are used in one of the first publications on DIY phantoms.

A study of the surface characteristics of homemade ultrasound phantoms
​​​​​​​Seth Althoff, Amita Sudhir, William A. Woods, ​​​​​​​Crit Ultrasound J (2010) 2:53-57
​​​​​​​Gelatin phantom testing; gelatin preparation techniques reviewed; lower temperature construction with re-useable latex coating recommended.

Simulators for training in ultrasound guided procedures
​​​​​​​Syed Farjad Sultan, George Shorten, Gabriella Iohom, ​​​​​​​Med Ultrason 2013, Vol. 15, no. 2, 125-131
​​​​​​​This survey of existing simulators summarizes advantages and disadvantages of each.

​​​​​​Make cheap ultrasound phantom
​​​​​​​Jeff Molter, ​​​​​​​YouTube Published on 4 Oct 2015
Accessed April 20, 2017 –
Uses 500cc bag, and stat-sorb powder

​​​​​​​Clarius: Easy DIY Tofu Ultrasound Phantom
​​​​​​​Clarius, ​​​​​​​YouTube Published on 5 Aug 2016
Accessed April 20, 2017 –

Sonographer preference for Knox versus ballistic gelatin for the creation of deep venous thrombosis ultrasound phantoms
​​​​​​​Patrick Olivieri, Michael Doctor, Sebastian Siadecki, Gabriel Rose, Aaran Drake, Turandot Saul, ​​​​​​​Med Ultrason 2016, Vol. 18, No 4, 531-532
Critical assessment of gelatin vs ballistic gel construction.

​​​​​​​Easy pulsatile phantom for teaching and validation of flow measurements in ultrasound
M. B. Rominger, E.-M. Müller-Stuler, M. Pinto, A. S. Becker, K. Martini, T. Frauenfelder, V. Klingmüller, Ultrasound International Open 2016; 2: E93–E97
Mechanical model to teach and validate non-pulsatile and pulsatile flow quantity.

Building Ultrasound Phantoms With Modified Polyvinyl Chloride
David Frederick Pepley, Cheyenne Cassel Sonntag, Rohan Sunil Prabhu, Mary Alice Yovanoff, David C. Han, Scarlett Rae Miller, Jason Zachary Moore
Simulation in Healthcare Vol. 13, Number 3, June 2018
Novel modified PVC polymer has great potential for use in ultrasound phantoms because of its realistic ultrasound imaging and modifiable stiffness. This customizability allows for easy creation of multilayer tissue phantoms.​​​​​​​

The use of joints of meat as phantoms for ultrasound-guided needling skills: a prospective blinded study
Jasmine Samuel, Euan Kerr, David Young, Malcolm Watson, Diana Raj
Ultrasound J. 2022 Mar 26;14(1):14. doi: 10.1186/s13089-022-00263-9. PMID: 35347463; PMCID: PMC8960540.
Needle visualisation during ultrasound-guided procedures is a skill that can be difficult to practise, with commercially available phantoms being expensive and often unrealistic. Our aim was to find an inexpensive, reproducible model that could be used to assist in developing this skill. Pork, beef and lamb joints are an effective model to use for simulation training for needling skills. They have limited lifespan, but due to its relatively low cost, it is feasible to discard the meat after each training workshop. We hope the use of inexpensive meat products will make ultrasound simulation training simpler to organise and more effective.