Phase aberration induced by soft tissue inhomogeneities often complicates high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) therapies by distorting the field and, previously, we designed and fabricated a bilayer gel phantom to reproducibly mimic that effect. A surface pattern containing size scales relevant to inhomogeneities of a porcine body wall was introduced between gel materials with fat- and muscle-like acoustic properties—ballistic and polyvinyl alcohol gels. Here, the phantom design was refined to achieve relevant values of ultrasound absorption and scattering and make it more robust, facilitating frequent handling and use in various experimental arrangements. The fidelity of the interfacial surface of the fabricated phantom to the design was confirmed by three-dimensional ultrasound imaging. The HIFU field distortions—displacement of the focus, enlargement of the focal region, and reduction of focal pressure—produced by the phantom were characterized using hydrophone measurements with a 1.5 MHz 256-element HIFU array and found to be similar to those induced by an ex vivo porcine body wall. A phase correction approach was used to mitigate the aberration effect on nonlinear focal waveforms and enable boiling histotripsy treatments through the phantom or body wall. The refined phantom represents a practical tool to explore HIFU therapy systems capabilities.

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