Technical Note: Radiological properties of tissue surrogates used in a multimodality deformable pelvic phantom for MR-guided radiotherapy.

Phantom surrogates were developed to allow multimodal [computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and teletherapy] and anthropomorphic tissue simulation as well as materials and methods to construct deformable organ shapes and anthropomorphic bone models.

Agarose gels of variable concentrations and loadings were investigated to simulate various soft tissue types. Oils, fats, and Vaseline were investigated as surrogates for adipose tissue and bone marrow. Anthropomorphic shapes of bone and organs were realized using 3D-printing techniques based on segmentations of patient CT-scans. All materials were characterized in dual energy CT and MRI to adapt CT numbers, electron density, effective atomic number, as well as T1- and T2-relaxation times to patient and literature values.

Soft tissue simulation could be achieved with agarose gels in combination with a gadolinium-based contrast agent and NaF to simulate muscle, prostate, and tumor tissues. Vegetable oils were shown to be a good representation for adipose tissue in all modalities. Inner bone was realized using a mixture of Vaseline and K2HPO4, resulting in both a fatty bone marrow signal in MRI and inhomogeneous areas of low and high attenuation in CT. The high attenuation of outer bone was additionally adapted by applying gypsum bandages to the 3D-printed hollow bone case with values up to 1200 HU. Deformable hollow organs were manufactured using silicone. Signal loss in the MR images based on the conductivity of the gels needs to be further investigated.

The presented surrogates and techniques allow the customized construction of multimodality, anthropomorphic, and deformable phantoms as exemplarily shown for a pelvic phantom, which is intended to study adaptive treatment scenarios in MR-guided radiation therapy.

Medical physics. 2016 Feb [Epub]

Nina I Niebuhr, Wibke Johnen, Timur Güldaglar, Armin Runz, Gernot Echner, Philipp Mann, Christian Möhler, Asja Pfaffenberger, Oliver Jäkel, Steffen Greilich

Division of Medical Physics in Radiation Oncology, German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Im Neuenheimer Feld 280, Heidelberg 69120, Germany and Heidelberg Institute for Radiation Oncology (HIRO), National Center for Radiation Research in Oncology, Im Neuenheimer Feld 280, Heidelberg 69120, Germany. , Division of Medical Physics in Radiation Oncology, German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Im Neuenheimer Feld 280, Heidelberg 69120, Germany and Heidelberg Institute for Radiation Oncology (HIRO), National Center for Radiation Research in Oncology, Im Neuenheimer Feld 280, Heidelberg 69120, Germany. , Division of Medical Physics in Radiation Oncology, German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Im Neuenheimer Feld 280, Heidelberg 69120, Germany and Heidelberg Institute for Radiation Oncology (HIRO), National Center for Radiation Research in Oncology, Im Neuenheimer Feld 280, Heidelberg 69120, Germany. , Division of Medical Physics in Radiation Oncology, German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Im Neuenheimer Feld 280, Heidelberg 69120, Germany and Heidelberg Institute for Radiation Oncology (HIRO), National Center for Radiation Research in Oncology, Im Neuenheimer Feld 280, Heidelberg 69120, Germany. , Division of Medical Physics in Radiation Oncology, German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Im Neuenheimer Feld 280, Heidelberg 69120, Germany and Heidelberg Institute for Radiation Oncology (HIRO), National Center for Radiation Research in Oncology, Im Neuenheimer Feld 280, Heidelberg 69120, Germany. , Division of Medical Physics in Radiation Oncology, German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Im Neuenheimer Feld 280, Heidelberg 69120, Germany and Heidelberg Institute for Radiation Oncology (HIRO), National Center for Radiation Research in Oncology, Im Neuenheimer Feld 280, Heidelberg 69120, Germany. , Division of Medical Physics in Radiation Oncology, German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Im Neuenheimer Feld 280, Heidelberg 69120, Germany and Heidelberg Institute for Radiation Oncology (HIRO), National Center for Radiation Research in Oncology, Im Neuenheimer Feld 280, Heidelberg 69120, Germany. , Division of Medical Physics in Radiation Oncology, German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Im Neuenheimer Feld 280, Heidelberg 69120, Germany and Heidelberg Institute for Radiation Oncology (HIRO), National Center for Radiation Research in Oncology, Im Neuenheimer Feld 280, Heidelberg 69120, Germany. , Division of Medical Physics in Radiation Oncology, German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Im Neuenheimer Feld 280, Heidelberg 69120, Germany; Heidelberg Institute for Radiation Oncology (HIRO), National Center for Radiation Research in Oncology, Im Neuenheimer Feld 280, Heidelberg 69120, Germany; and Department of Medical Physics, Heidelberg Ion-Beam Therapy Center (HIT), Im Neuenheimer Feld 450, Heidelberg 69120, Germany. , Division of Medical Physics in Radiation Oncology, German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Im Neuenheimer Feld 280, Heidelberg 69120, Germany and Heidelberg Institute for Radiation Oncology (HIRO), National Center for Radiation Research in Oncology, Im Neuenheimer Feld 280, Heidelberg 69120, Germany.

PubMed