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Med Phys. 2008 Dec;35(12):5934-43.

Characterization of a novel anthropomorphic plastinated lung phantom.

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  • 1Department of Electrical Engineering, Stanford University, Stanford, California 94305, USA.


Phantoms are widely used during the development of new imaging systems and algorithms. For development and optimization of new imaging systems such as tomosynthesis, where conventional image quality metrics may not be applicable, a realistic phantom that can be used across imaging systems is desirable. A novel anthropomorphic lung phantom was developed by plastination of an actual pig lung. The plastinated phantom is characterized and compared with reference to in vivo images of the same tissue prior to plastination using high resolution 3D CT. The phantom is stable over time and preserves the anatomical features and relative locations of the in vivo sample. The volumes for different tissue types in the phantom are comparable to the in vivo counterparts, and CT numbers for different tissue types fall within a clinically useful range. Based on the measured CT numbers, the phantom cardiac tissue experienced a 92% decrease in bulk density and the phantom pulmonary tissue experienced a 78% decrease in bulk density compared to their in vivo counterparts. By-products in the phantom from the room temperature vulcanizing silicone and plastination process are also identified. A second generation phantom, which eliminates most of the by-products, is presented. Such anthropomorphic phantoms can be used to evaluate a wide range of novel imaging systems.

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