Technical note: rapid prototyping of 3D grid arrays for image guided therapy quality assurance.
Three dimensional grid phantoms offer a number of advantages for measuring imaging related spatial inaccuracies for image guided surgery and radiotherapy. The authors examined the use of rapid prototyping technology for directly fabricating 3D grid phantoms from CAD drawings. We tested three different fabrication process materials, photopolymer jet with acrylic resin (PJ/AR), selective laser sintering with polyamide (SLS/P), and fused deposition modeling with acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (FDM/ABS). The test objects consisted of rectangular arrays of control points formed by the intersections of posts and struts (2 mm rectangular cross section) and spaced 8 mm apart in the x, y, and z directions. The PJ/AR phantom expanded after immersion in water which resulted in permanent warping of the structure. The surface of the FDM/ABS grid exhibited a regular pattern of depressions and ridges from the extrusion process. SLS/P showed the best combination of build accuracy, surface finish, and stability. Based on these findings, a grid phantom for assessing machine-dependent and frame-induced MR spatial distortions was fabricated to be used for quality assurance in stereotactic neurosurgical and radiotherapy procedures. The spatial uniformity of the SLS/P grid control point array was determined by CT imaging (0.6 x 0.6 x 0.625 mm3 resolution) and found suitable for the application, with over 97.5% of the control points located within 0.3 mm of the position specified in CAD drawing and none of the points off by more than 0.4 mm. Rapid prototyping is a flexible and cost effective alternative for development of customized grid phantoms for medical physics quality assurance.
Kittle, D; Holshouser, B; Slater, JM; Guenther, BD; Pitsianis, NP; Pearlstein, RD
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