Three recipes are presented to make tissue constituent-equivalent phantoms of water and lipids. Different approaches to prepare the emulsion are proposed. Nature phantoms are made using no emulsifying agent, but just a professional disperser; instead Agar and Triton phantoms are made using agar or Triton X-100, respectively, as agents to emulsify water and lipids. Different water-to-lipid ratios ranging from 30% to 70% by mass were tested. A broadband time-resolved diffuse optical spectroscopy system was used to characterize the phantoms in terms of optical properties and composition. For some water/lipid ratios the emulsion fails or the phantom has limited lifetime, but in most cases the recipes provide phantoms with a high degree of homogeneity [coefficient of variation (CV) of 4.6% and 1.5% for the absorption and reduced scattering coefficient, respectively] and good reproducibility (CV of 8.3% and 12.4% for absorption and reduced scattering coefficient, respectively).
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