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Dynamic Heart Phantom


  1. Ed Gullans
  2. Erica Ollinick
  3. Scott Rein
  4. Christopher Saffos
  5. Jay Shilling


Technical Advisors: Dr. Jim Pilla and Dr. Chun Xu (University of Pennsylvania


Extensive research in the field of magnetic resonance imaging has been done to improve diagnosis of cardiovascular diseases. Using a dynamic heart phantom (DHP) is vital to improve and validate MR imaging techniques and protocols. We have developed an innovative DHP design using a motor driven hydraulic system that provides 1) precise translational motions in the x, y and z axial directions, 2) precise rotational motion along the z axis, and 3) pressure to a simulated heart tissue. All components will be performed continuously and simultaneously in order to mimic the cardiac cycle of the left ventricle as closely as possible. Furthermore, all materials used in the device and the phantom material must have the MR properties of tissue necessary to achieve similar relaxation properties required to obtain a signal and be capable of producing reproducible motion.

The system integration involved machining all plastic and aluminum materials, and the assembly of the hydraulic lines. Preliminary tests were performed at the University of Pennsylvania’s Cardiac Research Center in Glenolden, PA. MR tests evaluated the T1 and T2 tissue responses of the silicone gel, as well as the tracking of the translational and rotational motions.

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