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UT Students Design Respiratory System for Simulated Image Testing

Mechanical, Aerospace, and Biomedical Engineering (MABE) students from the University of Tennessee are working with Dustin Osborne, PhD, Assistant Professor of Radiology, in conjunction with the Molecular Imaging and Translational Research Program to design a new respiratory phantom that enables accurate imaging of lung nodules during simulated respiratory motion for use in testing advanced gating technologies for PET/CT imaging as well as radiation oncology applications. MABE students working on the project are Geneva Doak, Michael Harris, Kayla Stone, and John Taylor.

Their system uses a basic design that is similar to the standardized shape of the Society of Nuclear Medicine Clinical Trials Network Chest Phantom, but it is outfitted with systems that enable accurate representation of respiratory motion during imaging. The phantom simulates the movement of nodules in the lung as well as liver lesions that are most affected by respiratory motion. This new phantom will be used to test the functionality and accuracy of advanced gating technologies developed at the University of Tennessee and to develop new methods of calibrating and testing nuclear medicine imaging equipment with radiation therapy hardware.

Gating technologies for PET/CT imaging enable the capture of motion information within the respiratory or cardiac cycle so that physicians can either visualize the motion or reduce motion artifacts in the final images. In radiation therapy, gating technologies are used to synchronize the therapy beam to activate during a certain phase of the cycle so that the therapy occurs at the proper time in the motion cycle.

This work is made possible by the senior design program in MABE headed by Jeff Reinbolt, PhD, and is partially funded by the National Institutes of Health.

Posted April 21, 2014


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