International Journal of Advanced and Applied Sciences

Int. j. adv. appl. sci.

EISSN: 2313-3724

Print ISSN: 2313-626X

Volume 4, Issue 9  (September 2017), Pages:  168-173

Title: Evaluation of nine 3D printing materials as tissue equivalent materials in terms of mass attenuation coefficient and mass density

Author(s):  Moayyad Alssabbagh 1, *, Abd Aziz Tajuddin 1, 2, Mahayuddin bin Abdul Manap 1, Rafidah Zainon 1


1Advanced Medical and Dental Institute, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
2School of Physics, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia

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The main objective of this study is to evaluate the mass attenuation coefficients of nine 3D printing materials and to verify the best 3D printing materials to simulate the human soft tissue. The elementary compositions of nine 3D printing materials were evaluated using SEM-EDS machine. These 3D printing materials are Polylactic Acid (PLA), Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS), Polycarbonate (PC), Polyethylene terephthalate (PETG), Thermoplastic elastomers (TPE), Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU), High Impact Polystyrene (HIPS), Polyamide-Nylon (PA) and Wood. The mass attenuation coefficient of each 3D printing material was calculated by inserting its elemental composition into the XCom database, which provided and supported by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The x-ray attenuation properties of nine different human organs tissue (brain, breast, eye lens, heart, kidney, liver, skin, testis and thyroid) was analyzed using the values listed in the International Commission on Radiation Units and Measurements – ICRU, report 44. The percentage difference between the mass density of each material and each organ tissue was evaluated. The results were compared to find the best material that could mimic the human soft tissue organs in terms of the attenuation values and density. These results indicate that the 3D wood material can be used to simulate the brain, breast, testis, kidney, thyroid, and the TPU material can be used to mimic eye lens, heart, liver and skin in terms of the total mass attenuation coefficient and mass density. This study reveals that the 3D printing materials can be used to construct human phantoms whereas they are commercially available and cost effective material compared to current commercial tissue equivalent materials. 

© 2017 The Authors. Published by IASE.

This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (

Keywords: Attenuation values, Mass density, Elemental composition, ICRU, Phantom

Article History: Received 8 February 2017, Received in revised form 2 August 2017, Accepted 4 August 2017

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Alssabbagh M, Tajuddin AA, Manap MbA, and Zainon R (2017). Evaluation of nine 3D printing materials as tissue equivalent materials in terms of mass attenuation coefficient and mass density. International Journal of Advanced and Applied Sciences, 4(9): 168-173

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