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Dual-Material 3D Printing of An Anthropomorphic Head Phantom

M Peters

M Peters*, D Craft , G Baltz , D Followill , R Howell , UT MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX


SU-E-108-2 (Sunday, July 30, 2017) 1:00 PM - 1:55 PM Room: 108

Purpose: Most phantoms currently used for independent peer review are homogeneous phantoms with interchangeable imaging and dosimetry inserts that do not permit tumor localization based on bony anatomy. The introduction of a dual-material phantom with separate materials for soft tissue and bone would enable quality assurance treatment planning to more accurately portray patient treatment planning. The purpose of this study is to investigate physical and imaging properties of potential 3D printed materials to determine their feasibility of printing an anthropomorphic head phantom.

Methods: Using a commercially available 3D printer, 5 cm³ blocks were printed for multiple materials. Materials were evaluated for their density, print accuracy, and Hounsfield Unit uniformity. A multilayered block of acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) and polylactic acid (PLA) was created and imaged as a simplified representation of a head. A print file was then created based on the CT scan of an anthropomorphic phantom. The first 2.5 mm slice of the head phantom was printed using a copper infused PLA filament for the skull and ABS for soft tissue.

Results: The densities of the ABS and copper infused PLA were measured to be 1.04 g/cc and 1.26 g/cc, respectively. The CT scan of the 3D printed slice of the head phantom demonstrated that the copper infused PLA and ABS are easily differentiable. The average HU values of the scalp, skull, and brain are -142.18± 22.30, 173.12± 31.62, and -115.82 ± 20.22 respectively. The geometric accuracy of the CT scan was analyzed based on volumetric analysis, yielding a -21.5% difference in bone and +15.4% difference in soft tissue. Printing issues included oozing of the copper infused PLA and cracking of the ABS material.

Conclusion: Creating an anthropomorphic head phantom using dual-material 3D printing shows promise. Issues of warping and geometric print accuracy need attention.

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