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Scientists develop Novel & Cheap 3D Robotic Motion Phantom

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    Science & Technology
  • Published
    21st Jul, 2021


A group of Indian scientists has developed a novel and cheap 3D robotic motion phantom which can reproduce the lung motion of a human during breathing.

About the Novel 3D Robotic Motion Phantom

  • The programmable robotic motion is the platform for quality assurance of respiratory motion management techniques in radiation therapy.  
  • It can also be helpful to check if the radiation is being correctly focused on a moving target.
  • The equipment is aligned with the ‘Make in India’ Initiative.
  • It is an indigenously built platform and is cost-effective.

How does it work?

  • The phantom is placed inside a CT scanner on the bed in place of the human, and it emulates human lung motion as it is irradiated during therapy.
  • As the phantom emulates the lung movement, a moving window is used to focus the radiation from the radiation machine on the moving tumor.
  • Detectors that are placed in the phantom help to detect whether the radiation is localized on the tumor.
  • During irradiation, high-quality images of advanced 4D radiation therapy treatments are obtained with minimum exposure of the patients and workers. 
  • The major part of the phantom is a dynamic platform that can mimic 3D tumor motion by using three independent stepper-motor systems.

Why the equipment was being developed?

  • Breathing motion causesa hurdle for delivering focused radiation dose to the cancer tumor, which is attached to the upper abdomen and thoracic regions.
  • The motion during breathing exposes an area that is larger than the tumor to radiation during cancer treatment.
  • Focused radiation could be customized by simulating the lung movement of the patient and then orienting the delivery of the radiation so that it could be effective with minimal dosage.
  • Before this is done on a human, the effectiveness of such a treatment is needed to be checked on a robotic phantom.

Radiation treatment of cancer

  • Radiotherapy is a cancer treatment that uses high doses of radiation to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. 
  • Under radiation therapy cancer cells are killed or their growth is slowed down by damaging their DNA.
  • The cancer cells whose DNA is damaged beyond repair limit stop dividing or die.
  • Radiation therapy mostly uses X-rays, but protons or other types of energy can also be used.