With the development of several classes of dedicated emission and transmission imaging technologies utilizing ionizing radiation for improved breast cancer detection and in vivo characterization, it is extremely useful to have available anthropomorphic breast phantoms in a variety of shapes, sizes and malleability prior to clinical imaging.
These anthropomorphic phantoms can be used to evaluate the implemented imaging approaches given a known quantity, the phantom, and to evaluate the variability of the measurement due to the imaging system chain. Thus, we have developed a set of fillable and incompressible breast phantoms ranging in volume from 240 to 1730mL with nipple-to-chest distances from 3.8 to 12cm. These phantoms are mountable and exchangeable on either a uniform chest plate or anthropomorphic torso phantom containing tissue equivalent bones and surface tissue. Another fillable ~700mL breast phantom with solid anterior chest plate is intentionally compressible, and can be used for direct comparisons between standard planar imaging approaches using mild-to-severe compression, partially compressed tomosynthesis, and uncompressed computed mammotomography applications. These phantoms can be filled with various fluids (water and oil based liquids) to vary the fatty tissue background composition. Shaped cellulose sponges with two cell densities are fabricated and can be added to the breasts to simulate connective tissue. Additionally,
microcalcifications can be simulated by peppering slits in the sponges with oyster shell fragments. These phantoms have a utility in helping to evaluate clinical imaging paradigms with known input object parameters using basic imaging characterization, in an effort to further evaluate contemporary and next generation imaging tools. They may additionally provide a means to collect known data samples for task based optimization studies.