Radioactive 3D printing for the production of molecular imaging phantoms.
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Quality control tests of molecular imaging systems are hampered by the complexity of phantom preparation. It is proposed that radioisotopes can be directly incorporated into photo-polymer resins. Use of the radio-polymer in a 3D printer allows phantoms with more complex and reliable activity distributions to be produced whilst simplifying source preparation. Initial tests have been performed to determine the practicality of integrating Tc-99m into a photo-polymer and example phantoms produced to test suitability for quality control. Samples of build and support resins were extracted from the print cartridges of an Objet30Pro Polyjet 3D printer. The response of the resin to external factors including ionising radiation, light and dilution with Tc-99m pertechnetate were explored. After success of the initial tests the radio-polymer was used in the production of different phantoms. Radionuclide dose calibrator and gamma camera acquisitions of the phantoms were used to test accuracy of activity concentration, print consistency, uniformity and heterogeneous reproducibility. Tomographic phantoms were also produced including a uniform hot sphere, a complex configuration of spheres and interlacing torus's and a hot rod phantom. The coefficient of variation between repeat prints of a 12 g disk phantom was 0.08%. Measured activity within the disks agreed to within 98 ± 2% of the expected activity based on initial resin concentration. Gamma camera integral uniformity measured across a 3D printed flood field phantom was 5.2% compared to 6.0% measured with a commercial Co-57 flood source. Heterogeneous distributions of activity were successfully reproduced for both 2D and 3D imaging phantoms. Count concentration across regions of heterogeneity agreed with the planned activity assigned to those regions on the phantom design. 3D printing of radioactive phantoms has been successfully demonstrated and is a promising application for quality control of Positron Emission Tomography and Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography systems.
Reproducibility of Results
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Physics in medicine and biology, 2020, 65 (17), pp. 175019 - ?