Use of 3D Printed Materials as Tissue-Equivalent Phantoms
This study used the specific example of 3D printing with acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) as a means to investigate the potential usefulness of benchtop rapid prototyping as a technique for producing patient specific phantoms for radiotherapy dosimetry. Three small cylinders and one model of a human lung were produced via in-house 3D printing with ABS, using 90%, 50%, 30% and 10% ABS infill densities. These phantom samples were evaluated in terms of their geometric accuracy, tissue equivalence and radiation hardness, when irradiated using a range of clinical radiotherapy beams. The measured dimensions of the small cylindrical phantoms all matched their planned dimensions, within 1mm. The lung phantom was less accurately matched to the lung geometry on which it was based, due to simplifications introduced during the phantom design process. The mass densities, electron densities and linear attenuation coefficients identified using CT data, as well as the results of film measurements made using megavoltage photon and electron beams, indicated that phantoms printed with ABS, using infill densities of 30% or more, are potentially useful as lung- and tissue-equivalent phantoms for patient-specific radiotherapy dosimetry. All cylindrical 3D printed phantom samples were found to be unaffected by prolonged radiation and to accurately match their design specifications. However, care should be taken to avoid oversimplifying anatomical structures when printing more complex phantoms.
KeywordsRadiation therapy rapid prototyping lung phantom
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