Date of Award

Spring 2021

Document Type



Santa Clara : Santa Clara University, 2021.



First Advisor

Prashanth Asuri

Second Advisor

Shoba Krishnan


In the biowearable industry, there is a need for benchtop testing methods that present cost-effective, consistent, and ethical alternatives to current preclinical testing. Artificial phantoms serve to meet this need by mimicking the clinically relevant elements that biowearables monitor. They act as a tool for demonstrating a medical device’s safety and efficacy. The objective of this project is to create a gastrointestinal (GI) phantom that emulates the electrical and material properties of the stomach, small intestine, and colon in order to test diagnostic GI biowearables. Our team also aimed to create a computer-simulated model of the phantom in order to predict and verify the phantom’s behaviors.

We designed a phantom that is clinically representative of the abdominal GI system. It is made of an agarose- and salt-based hydrogel that mimics the tissue anterior to the GI organs, an electrical system that represents the signals that the GI organs produce, and a box that robustly combines the first two elements. We optimized our hydrogel and electrical system to produce clear output signals to be measured by biowearables during benchtop testing. We tested our complete phantom system to characterize its behavior, verify its effectiveness, and better inform biowearable testing. Further experimentation should be done before the phantom can completely characterize biowearable behavior. Continued development of the phantom should focus on enhancing its complexity to improve anatomical accuracy and increasing reliability.