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“Phanta4D”: Real-time Multi-axis Control Architecture for Dynamic Anthropomorphic 4D Phantom (P-1536)

A novel anthropomorphic abdomen phantom formed from a composite of realistically deformable organs controllable in real-time

Published: 7th January 2022
“Phanta4D”: Real-time Multi-axis Control Architecture for Dynamic Anthropomorphic 4D Phantom (P-1536)


Novel radio-oncological treatment approaches enable image-guided and real-time dynamic adjustment of the irradiation beam to the targeted tumor, thereby minimizing side effects. For calibration and quality control of the radiation device, especially implementation of the end-to-end test, phantoms are applied to simulate the different organs of the patient body. However, current state of the art phantoms are limited to simulate the body organs in multiple dimensions and states e.g. movement of organs by breathing or size of bladder depending on the filling state.

Technology Overview

The Phanta4D invention involves a novel anthropomorphic abdomen phantom formed from a composite of realistically deformable organs (e.g., liver, prostate, bladder, intestinal tract) and a real-time capable control architecture regulating the phantom component’s movements.

Figure 1: Sketch of the envisaged anthropomorphic 4D Phantom.

The Phanta4D consists of the actual anthropomorphic phantom, which is formed from a composite of synthetic organs. The organs are deformable, and their position and spatial characteristics can be changed by the force of the synthetic diaphragm. Organs, such as the rectum or bladder, can be filled and thus also cause a change in the spatial position of the organ compound. Besides imaging, the synthetic organs offer cavities for dosimetry (e.g., ion chambers), to allow completing an entire QA process including planning, imaging and verification of dose delivery.

Figure 2: View of the anthropomorphic 4D Phantom prototype from three different angles

The control of the anthropomorphic phantom including the synthetic diaphragm and the filling of the organs, i.e. multiple inputs and output arrangements, is done by a real-time Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) via a real-time capable industrial bus, such as EtherCAT. The control can be exerted via a GUI of a standard PC.

Stage of Development

The proof-of-principle and supporting experimental data are currently being generated.


  • Simulation of reality-based movement sequences via pre-recorded patient movements.
  • Simulation of bladder and rectum filling and their effect on surrounding organs.
  • Real-time control concept of several actuators for deformation/displacement/movement of 3D organ structures.
  • Compatibility with novel hybrid devices such as MR-Linac.
  • Control unit outside the main magnetic field of the imaging system to achieve less interference in imaging.
  • Realistic organ and tumor representation in the different imaging modalities (CT, MR, PET)
  • Integration of commonly used dosimetry measuring units


The Phanta4D invention is used for quality assurance in radiotherapy, end-to-end testing, dosimetry and simulation of organ system movements in all degrees of freedom for different imaging modalities.

The invention allows faster and more efficient quality assurance in image guided, adaptive radiotherapy.

IP Status
  • Patent application submitted
  • Development partner
  • Licensing