DIY Ultrasound Model: Thoracic

This page summarizes do-it-yourself (DIY) ultrasound models for the abdomen. Read more on the DIY ultrasound model compendium.

Creating thoracic phantoms for diagnostic and procedural ultrasound training​1​

MaterialsGelatin, pork ribs, sponges, latex gloves, plastic bags, plastic bucket, psyllium husk
Estimated CostNot provided


This article details a number of models to simulate normal lung, pleural effusion, lung consolidation, and pneumothorax. Sponges act as lung tissue and pork ribs are used to create rib shadowing. It is important to use a probe cover with the raw meat component of this model.

Hand Ultrasound: A High-Fidelity Simulation of Lung Sliding​2​

MaterialsTwo hands
Estimated Cost$0


This inventive, zero-cost simulator generates lung sliding or the barcode sign by sliding 2 fingers under the dorsum of another hand. Metacarpals generate realistic rib shadowing.

A Low Cost Training Phantom for Lung Ultrasonography​3​

MaterialsGelatin, tree branches, dressing foam
Estimated Cost$5


The chest wall is created with a gelatin model embedded with tree branches to simulate ribs. The pleura is created by sliding a sheet of dressing foam under the gelatin chest wall. The dressing foam can be soaked in water to simulate b lines. Plastic bags of water can be used for pleural effusion.

Updated April 23, 2019


  1. 1.
    Rippey J, Gawthrope I. Creating thoracic phantoms for diagnostic and procedural ultrasound training. Australas J Ultrasound Med. 2012;15(2):43-54.
  2. 2.
    Shokoohi H, Boniface K. Hand Ultrasound: A High-fidelity Simulation of Lung Sliding. Academic Emergency Medicine. September 2012:E1079-E1083. doi:10.1111/j.1553-2712.2012.01431.x
  3. 3.
    Do HH, Lee S. A Low-Cost Training Phantom for Lung Ultrasonography. Chest. December 2016:1417-1419. doi:10.1016/j.chest.2016.09.033
Dallas Holladay, DO

Dallas Holladay, DO

Assistant Professor and Clerkship Director
Department of Emergency Medicine
Rush University
Dallas Holladay, DO


Come for the medical education, stay for the cat memes.