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As x-ray imaging technology moves from conventional radiography and computed tomography (CT) to spectral radiography and CT, dedicated phantom materials are needed for spectral imaging. The spectral phantom materials should accurately represent the energy-dependent mass-attenuation coefficients of different types of tissues. Although tissue-equivalent phantom materials were previously developed for CT and radiation therapy applications, these materials are suboptimal for spectral radiography and CT; they are not compatible with contrast agents, do not represent many of the tissue types and do not provide accurate values of attenuation characteristics of tissue. This work provides theoretical framework and a practical method for developing tissue-equivalent spectral phantom materials with a required set of parameters. The samples of the tissue-equivalent spectral phantom materials were developed, tested and characterized. The spectral phantom materials were mixed with iodine, gold and calcium contrast agents and evaluated. The materials were characterized by CT imaging and x-ray transmission experiments. The fabricated materials had nearly identical densities, mass attenuation coefficients, effective atomic numbers and electron densities as compared to corresponding tissue materials presented in the ICRU-44 report. The experimental results have shown good volume uniformity and inter-sample uniformity (repeatability of sample fabrication) of the fabricated materials. The spectral phantom materials were fabricated under laboratory conditions from readily available and inexpensive components. It was concluded that the presented theoretical framework and fabrication method of dedicated spectral phantom materials could be useful for researchers and developers working in the new area of spectral radiography and CT. Independently, the results could also be useful for other applications, such as radiation therapy. © 2012 Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine


Polad M Shikhaliev. Dedicated phantom materials for spectral radiography and CT. Physics in medicine and biology. 2012 Mar 21;57(6):1575-93

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PMID: 22397927

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