Evaluation of 3D printed immobilisation shells for head and neck IMRT

Mark Fisher, Christopher Applegate, Mohammad Ryalat, Stephen Laycock, Mark Hulse, Daniel Emmens, Duncan Bell

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This paper presents the preclinical evaluation of a novel immobilization system for patients undergoing external beam radiation treatment of head and neck tumors. An immobilization mask is manufactured directly from a 3-D model, built using the CT data routinely acquired for treatment planning so there is no need to take plaster of Paris moulds. Research suggests that many patients find the mould room visit distressing and so rapid prototyping could potentially improve the overall patient experience. Evaluation of a computer model of the immobilization system using an anthropomorphic phantom shows that >99% of vertices are within a tolerance of ±0.2 mm. Hausdorff distance was used to analyze CT slices obtained by rescanning the phantom with a printed mask in position. These results show that for >80% of the slices the median “worse-case” tolerance is approximately 4 mm. These measurements suggest that printed masks can achieve similar levels of immobilization to those of systems currently in clinical use.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)322-328
Number of pages6
JournalOpen Journal of Radiology
Issue number04
Early online date31 Dec 2014
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Intensity Modulated Radiotherapy Treatment (IMRT)
  • Patient Immobilization System
  • 3-D Printing

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