Low-cost MR-compatible moving heart phantom

M. E. Huber, M. Stuber, R. M. Botnar, P. Boesiger, W. J. Manning

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


For the development and evaluation of cardiac magnetic resonance (MR) imaging sequences and methodologies, the availability of a periodically moving phantom to model respiratory and cardiac motion would be of substantial benefit. Given the specific physical boundary conditions in an MR environment, the choice of materials and power source of such phantoms is heavily restricted. Sophisticated commercial solutions are available; however, they are often relatively costly and user-specific modifications may not easily be implemented. We therefore sought to construct a low-cost MR-compatible motion phantom that could be easily reproduced and had design flexibility. A commercially available K'NEX construction set (Hyper Space Training Tower, K'NEX Industries, Inc., Hatfield, PA) was used to construct a periodically moving phantom head. The phantom head performs a translation with a superimposed rotation, driven by a motor over a 2-m rigid rod. To synchronize the MR data acquisition with phantom motion (without introducing radiofrequency-related image artifacts), a fiberoptic control unit generates periodic trigger pulses synchronized to the phantom motion. Total material costs of the phantom are US$ < 200.00, and a total of 80 man-hours were required to design and construct the original phantom. With schematics of the present solution, the phantom reproduction may be achieved in approximately 15 man-hours. The presented MR-compatible periodically moving phantom can easily be reproduced, and user-specific modifications may be implemented. Such an approach allows a detailed investigation of motion-related phenomena in MR images.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)181-187
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2000


  • Cardiac imaging
  • MR compatibility
  • Moving phantom
  • Phantom

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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