For the past year, LSU Biological and Agricultural Engineering senior Meagan Moore of Baton Rouge has been working to 3D print the first actual-size “human body” for radiation therapy research, LSU says.
The Phantom Project, also known as Marie, will help test radiation exposure on a real-size human to figure out the best angle for dose distribution. While phantoms have been used in medical and health physics for decades as surrogates for human tissue, no personalized full-body phantoms currently exist, Moore says.
Phantoms usually cost $40,000, have no limbs and don’t represent every body type. Marie represents an entire human body and only cost $500. Using 3D scans of five women from the Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Moore developed a lifelike female phantom made of bioplastic.
“I specifically wanted to work with a woman because, in science, women typically aren’t studied because they’re considered complex due to a variety of reasons,” Moore says. “I want a person with the most complex geometry.”
It took 136 hours to print Marie in four sections on a printer at LSU. To connect the sections, Moore used a combination of soldering, friction stir welding, and sandblasting.