E2354. Creation of Reusable Molds for Casting Realistic Breast Ultrasound Phantoms with 3D Printing
  1. Xiaoqin Wang; University of Kentucky
  2. Siavash Tohidi; University of Kentucky
  3. Mohamed Tarek Ahmed; University of Kentucky
  4. Cherah Pryce; University of Kentucky
  5. Michael Winkler; Medical College of Georgia, Augusta University
The purpose is to test the feasibility of using CT data derived segmentations of supine breasts of varying morphology to create reusable 3D printed molds and to use them to cast phantoms with low cost but long-lasting materials.

Materials and Methods:
Using a commercially available advanced imaging client, STL (mesh) file representations of three archetypal breast morphologies are generated from CT chest DICOM datasets. A positive representation of each breast was then created piecemeal using fused deposition modeling, a method of 3D fabrication. Once fully assembled and fused, a negative mold was cast in silicone rubber. From these molds, multiple breast phantoms are created using layers of silicone and plastisol. Low cost ersatz breast cancers and breast implants were incorporated into the phantoms during the casting process. These phantoms were compared to living patients and the commercial phantoms for anatomical accuracy, sonographic penetrance, simulation of breast tissue and lesions, and cost.

The 3D printed breast molds generated from the CT chest images faithfully capture varying breast morphology in supine position. Phantoms can be easily casted from the 3D printed models due to the negative feature design. 3D printed breast phantoms made from the molds are more anatomically accurate than the commercial breast phantoms or the traditional molds. Both the plastisol and silicon phantoms provide material elasticity for simulation of human breast tissue integrity. The plastisol-based breast phantom provided US beam penetration comparable to the commercial phantom. The silicon phantom provides less optimal US penetration without cellulose. The plastisol phantom is most cost efficient.

Ultrasound-guided breast procedures require excellent hand-eye coordination. Ultrasound phantoms are often used to help residents to practice these important intervention skills. We've shown a method to make an anatomically realistic breast ultrasound phantom using low cost materials and 3D printed breast molds. These reusable breast molds of varying morphology can be created with high anatomical fidelity by using 3D printing and CT chest images. Plastisol and silicon can be used to create a realistic and affordable breast phantom for US-guided intervention training. This method can also be used directly or modified to make phantoms for other image-guided procedures, such as, joint injection and thyroid biopsy, to improve the trainees' image-guided intervention performance.