Tissue Equivalent Phantom Design for Optimization of a Coherent Scatter Imaging System
Scatter in medical imaging is typically cast off as image-related noise that detracts from meaningful diagnosis. It is therefore typically rejected or removed from medical images. However, it has been found that every material, including cancerous tissue, has a unique X-ray coherent scatter signature that can be used to identify the material or tissue. Such scatter-based tissue-identification provides the advantage of locating and identifying particular materials over conventional anatomical imaging through X-ray radiography. A coded aperture X-ray coherent scatter spectral imaging system has been developed in our group to classify different tissue types based on their unique scatter signatures. Previous experiments using our prototype have demonstrated that the depth-resolved coherent scatter spectral imaging system (CACSSI) can discriminate healthy and cancerous tissue present in the path of a non-destructive x-ray beam. A key to the successful optimization of CACSSI as a clinical imaging method is to obtain anatomically accurate phantoms of the human body. This thesis describes the development and fabrication of 3D printed anatomical scatter phantoms of the breast and lung.
The purpose of this work is to accurately model different breast geometries using a tissue equivalent phantom, and to classify these tissues in a coherent x-ray scatter imaging system. Tissue-equivalent anatomical phantoms were designed to assess the capability of the CACSSI system to classify different types of breast tissue (adipose, fibroglandular, malignant). These phantoms were 3D printed based on DICOM data obtained from CT scans of prone breasts. The phantoms were tested through comparison of measured scatter signatures with those of adipose and fibroglandular tissue from literature. Tumors in the phantom were modeled using a variety of biological tissue including actual surgically excised benign and malignant tissue specimens. Lung based phantoms have also been printed for future testing. Our imaging system has been able to define the location and composition of the various materials in the phantom. These phantoms were used to characterize the CACSSI system in terms of beam width and imaging technique. The result of this work showed accurate modeling and characterization of the phantoms through comparison of the tissue-equivalent form factors to those from literature. The physical construction of the phantoms, based on actual patient anatomy, was validated using mammography and computed tomography to visually compare the clinical images to those of actual patient anatomy.
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