Shared Resources for Phantom Fabrication
We have been exploring new methods for fabricating imaging phantoms, with a specific focus on compatibility across multiple modalities. The use of 3D printing to create diverse anatomical structures, and sharing them for clinical and research purposes, is of particular interest.
Here we provide designs and methodologies, with a Creative Commons CC-BY license. If you make use of them, please include the relevant citation(s). We would welcome your feedback!
Patient-Specific Brain Phantom
Project leads: Eleanor C. Mackle and Jonathan Shapey
Description: It is challenging to create anatomically accurate head phantoms with realistic brain imaging properties because standard fabrication methods are not optimized to replicate any patient-specific anatomical detail and 3D printing materials are not optimized for imaging properties. In order to test and validate a novel navigation system for use during brain tumor surgery, an anatomically accurate phantom with realistic imaging and mechanical properties was required. Therefore, a phantom was developed using real patient data as input and 3D printing of molds to fabricate a patient-specific head phantom comprising the skull, brain and tumor with both ultrasound and X-ray contrast. The phantom also had mechanical properties that allowed the phantom tissue to be manipulated in a similar manner to how human brain tissue is handled during surgery. The phantom was successfully tested during a surgical simulation in a virtual operating room. The phantom fabrication method uses commercially available materials and is easy to reproduce. The 3D printing files can be readily shared, and the technique can be adapted to encompass many different types of tumor.
Protocol: demonstrated in this video and detailed in the paper referenced below.
Reference: Patient-Specific Polyvinyl Alcohol Phantom Fabrication with Ultrasound and X-Ray Contrast for Brain Tumor Surgery Planning. Mackle EC, Shapey J, Maneas E, Saeed SR, Bradford R, Ourselin S, Vercauteren T, Desjardins AE (2020). Journal of Visualized Experiments, e61344, doi:10.3791/61344.
3D printing files: this compressed file includes all the 3D printing files (moulds and skull) required to create this brain phantom, as described in the reference above.