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Design and 3D Printing of Customized Brachytherapy PMMA and PLA Applicators Compatible for MR and CT Imaging

J Jung

J Jung1,3*, T Samant2 , J Wu1 , T Suh3 , S Samant1 , (1) University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, (2) Tera Insights, Gainesville, Florida, (3) The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, SEOUL


SU-H4-GePD-T-2 (Sunday, July 30, 2017) 4:30 PM - 5:00 PM Room: Therapy ePoster Lounge

Purpose: To be able to fabricate customized brachytherapy applicators for use in CT and MR imaging with minimal imaging artifacts with poly-methylmethacrylate (PMMA) polylactic acid (PLA) using 3D printing technology.

Methods: We developed a hardware and software process to scan existing applicators and modify design based on a physician preference, including reducing rectal dose based using inverse distance fall off based on minimum vertex distance optimization. We scanned the applicators using a hand-held 3D scanner (Structure Sensor, Occipital) within 1 minute to capture a depth and color information. The customized applicator is designed using 3D modeling software (Cinema 4D R17, Maxon). The applicator is consequently fabricated from PMMA/ PLA 3D printer (Ultimaker 2+, Geldermalsen) with fused deposition manufacturing (FDM) to avoid the metal artifacts and consists of an extruded external shape of the applicator. Lipid coated copper fiducials (2 mm), visible in CT and MR imaging, are embedded in the applicator.

Results: An existing applicator was scanned, modified, and 3D printed. Total turn-around time was 10 hours. While patient specific customization of an applicator is not practical, this system allows for quickly and inexpensively fabricating a greater variety of available applicators from several initial templates for improved patient comfort, enhanced dose sparing of critical organs, and better immobilization.

Conclusion: We have developed a methodology for fast design and fabrication of customized brachytherapy applicators suitable for CT and MR imaging using the PMMA/PLA 3D printing. This technology allows for rapid design and fabrication, allowing for same day fabrication with potential for improved patient comfort and better immobilization that can be readily utilized at any radiation oncology site.

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