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Stratasys, Siemens Healthineers Partner for Medical Imaging Phantom Research Project

The study’s phase one endpoint will be the 3D-printing of a heart model and a model of an entire human torso with complete radiographic accuracy.

Katie Hobbins

November 28, 2023

2 Min Read
CT phantom
Image courtesy of Business Wire

Stratasys, a medtech company focused on polymer 3D-printing and additive manufacturing, and Siemens Healthineers, have partnered for a landmark research project designed to develop new state-of-the-art solutions for the advancement of medical imaging phantoms for CT imaging.

“The current limitations of imaging phantoms have been a longstanding challenge for the radiology community,” said Erez Ben Zvi, vice president medical at Stratasys, in the press release. “This partnership with Siemens Healthineers will enable us to jointly explore the vast possibilities of our radiopaque materials and 3D-printing technologies to overcome these barriers.”

CT phantoms are categorized as specialized devices used to evaluate and ensure the performance of CT scanners. They are designed to simulate certain characteristics of the human body, enabling the assessment of various core metrics, including radiation dose, image quality, calibration, and consistent scanner performance, according to Stratasys.

The research project will combine Stratasys’ PolyJet technology with its RadioMatrix technology, and Siemens advanced algorithm to translate scanned patient images “into specific material characteristics with radiopacity of human anatomy,” according to the press release announcing the partnership. “The solution will allow for tailored phantom manufacturing and the creation of ultra-realistic human anatomy characteristics with complete radiographic accuracy of patient-specific pathology not previously possible.”

Starting with the manufacturing of 3D-printed phantoms for smaller-scale anatomies, like of the head and neck region, the research will then progressively produce larger and more complex structures. This will lead to study’s phase one endpoint of 3D-printing a heart model and a model of an entire human torso with complete radiographic accuracy.

The joint project, according to the companies, will “transform how phantoms can be utilized in the medical field, and in certain cases even enable device manufacturers and academic facilities to replace human cadavers with 3D-printed structures. Having this capability enables critical efficiencies and minimizes inevitable human variability. This work will also produce a critical body of research data, providing key insights for advancing CT system algorithms, driving materials development, and unlocking potential new application areas — as well as identifying future research opportunities.”

About the Author(s)

Katie Hobbins

Managing Editor, MD+DI

Katie Hobbins is managing editor for MD+DI and joined the team in July 2022. She boasts multiple previous editorial roles in print and multimedia medical journalism, including dermatology, medical aesthetics, and pediatric medicine. She graduated from Cleveland State University in 2018 with a bachelor's degree in journalism and promotional communications. She enjoys yoga, hand embroidery, and anything DIY. You can reach her at [email protected].

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