SU-F-T-181: Proton Therapy Tissue-Equivalence of 3D Printed Materials




This work investigated the proton tissue-equivalence of various 3D printed materials.


Three 3D printers were used to create 5 cm cubic phantoms made of different plastics with varying percentages of infill. White resin, polylactic acid (PLA), and NinjaFlex plastics were used. The infills ranged from 15% to 100%. Each phantom was scanned with a CT scanner to obtain the HU value. The relative linear stopping power (RLSP) was then determined using a multi-layer ion chamber in a 200 MeV proton beam. The RLSP was measured both parallel and perpendicular to the print direction for each material.


The HU values of the materials ranged from lung-equivalent (−820 HU σ160) when using a low infill, to soft-tissue-equivalent 159 (σ12). The RLSP of the materials depended on the orientation of the beam relative to the print direction. When the proton beam was parallel to the print direction, the RLSP was generally higher than the RLSP in the perpendicular orientation, by up to 45%. This difference was smaller (less than 6%) for the materials with 100% infill. For low infill cubes irradiated parallel to the print direction, the SOBP curve showed extreme degradation of the beam in the distal region. The materials with 15–25% infill had wide-ranging agreement with a clinical HU-RLSP conversion curve, with some measurements falling within 1% of the curve and others deviating up to 45%. The materials with 100% infill all fell within 7% of the curve.


While some materials tested fall within 1% of a clinical HU-RLSP curve, caution should be taken when using 3D printed materials with proton therapy, as the orientation of the beam relative to the print direction can result in a large change in RLSP. Further investigation is needed to measure how the infill pattern affects the material RLSP.

This work was supported by PHS grant CA180803.