Computational human phantoms are computer models used to obtain dose distributions within the human body exposed to internal or external radiation sources. In addition, they are increasingly used to develop detector efficiencies for in-vivo whole-body counters. Two classes of the computational human phantoms have been widely utilized for dosimetry calculation: stylized and voxel phantoms, that describe human anatomy through mathematical surface equations and 3D voxel matrices, respectively. Stylized phantoms are flexible in that changes to organ position and shape are possible given avoidance of region overlap, while voxel phantoms are typically fixed to a given patient anatomy, yet can be proportionally scaled to match individuals of larger or smaller stature, but of equivalent organ anatomy. Voxel phantoms provide much better anatomical realism as compared to stylized phantoms which are intrinsically limited by mathematical surface equations. To address the drawbacks of these phantoms, hybrid phantoms based on non-uniform rational B-spline (NURBS) surfaces have been introduced wherein anthropomorphic flexibility and anatomic realism are both preserved. Researchers at the University of Florida have introduced a series of hybrid phantoms representing the ICRP Publication 89 reference newborn, 15-year, and adult male and female. In this study, six additional phantoms are added to the UF family of hybrid phantoms – those of the reference 1-year, 5-year, and 10-year child. Head and torso CT images of patients whose ages were close to the targeted ages were obtained under approved protocols. Major organs and tissues were segmented from these images using an image processing software, 3D-DOCTOR™. NURBS and polygon mesh surfaces were then used to model individual organs and tissues after importing the segmented organ models to the 3D NURBS modeling software, Rhinoceros™. The phantoms were matched to four reference datasets: (1) standard anthropometric data, (2) reference organ masses from ICRP Publication 89, (3) reference elemental compositions provided in ICRP 89 as well as ICRU Report 46, and (4) reference data on the alimentary tract organs given in ICRP Publications 89 and 100. Various adjustments and refinements to the organ systems of the previously described newborn, 15-year, and adult phantoms are also presented. The UF series of hybrid phantoms retain the non-uniform scalability of stylized phantoms while maintaining the anatomical realism of patient-specific voxel phantoms with respect to organ shape, depth and inter-organ distance. While the final versions of these phantoms are in a voxelized format for radiation transport simulation, their primary format is given as NURBS and polygon mesh surfaces, thus permitting one to sculpt non-reference phantoms using the reference phantoms as an anatomic template.
Keywords: NURBS, voxel, paediatric, hybrid phantom, radiation dosimetry