Design and CT imaging of casper, an anthropomorphic breathing thorax phantom




Laidlaw, Josie
Earl, Nicolas
Shavdia, Nihal
Davis, Rayna
Mayer, Sarah
Karaman, Dmitri
Richtsmeier, Devon
Rodesch, Pierre-Antoine
Bazalova-Carter, Magdalena

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Biomedical Physics & Engineering Express


The goal of this work was to build an anthropomorphic thorax phantom capable of breathing motion with materials mimicking human tissues in x-ray imaging applications. The thorax phantom, named Casper, was composed of resin (body), foam (lungs), glow polyactic acid (bones) and natural polyactic acid (tumours placed in the lungs). X-ray attenuation properties of all materials prior to manufacturing were evaluated by means of photon-counting computed tomography (CT) imaging on a table-top system. Breathing motion was achieved by a scotch-yoke mechanism with diaphragm motion frequencies of 10−20 rpm and displacements of 1 to 2 cm. Casper was manufactured by means of 3D printing of moulds and ribs and assembled in a complex process. The final phantom was then scanned using a clinical CT scanner to evaluate material CT numbers and the extent of tumour motion. Casper CT numbers were close to human CT numbers for soft tissue (46 HU), ribs (125 HU), lungs (−840 HU) and tumours (−45 HU). For a 2 cm diaphragm displacement the largest tumour displacement was 0.7 cm. The five tumour volumes were accurately assessed in the static CT images with a mean absolute error of 4.3%. Tumour sizes were either underestimated for smaller tumours or overestimated for larger tumours in dynamic CT images due to motion blurring with a mean absolute difference from true volumes of 10.3%. More Casper information including a motion movie and manufacturing data can be downloaded from




Laidlaw, J., Earl, N., Shavdia, N., Davis, R., Mayer, S., Karaman, D., Richtsmeier, D., Rodesch, P.-A., & Bazalova-Carter, M. (2023). Design and CT imaging of casper, an anthropomorphic breathing thorax phantom. Biomedical Physics & Engineering Express, 9(2), 025008.