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Geant4 anthropomorphic phantoms: models of the human body for radiation protection studies. S. Guatelli, G. Guerrieri, M. G. Pia INFN Genova, Italy SPENVIS and Geant4 Workshop, Catholic University, Leuven, Belgium, 3-7 October 2005. Vision.

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Geant4 anthropomorphic phantoms models of the human body for radiation protection studies l.jpg

Geant4 anthropomorphic phantoms:models of the human body for radiation protection studies

S. Guatelli, G. Guerrieri, M. G. Pia

INFN Genova, Italy

SPENVIS and Geant4 Workshop,

Catholic University, Leuven, Belgium,

3-7 October 2005

SPENVIS and Geant4 Workshop

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  • A precise representation of the human body is important for accurate:

    • Dosimetry

    • Radiation protection studies

  • In space science:

    • To design shielding of astronauts’ habitats in transfer vehicles and surface habitats

    • To study the radiation effects in astronauts’ organs

SPENVIS and Geant4 Workshop

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Approaches of human body models

Mathematical phantoms

The size and shape of the body

and its organs are described

by analytical expressions

(planes, circular and elliptical


spheres, cones, tori, …

Voxel phantoms

Based on digital images recorded

from Computer Tomography (CT)

scanning or

Magnetic Resonance Imaging


Williams et al.


Gibbs et al.


Veit et al.





Petoussi-Henss et al.


Zankl & Wittmann




Caon et al.




Saito et al.




Jones & Wall


Xu et al.


Hart et al.


Tanaka et al.


Spitzer & Whitlock


SPENVIS and Geant4 Workshop

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Interest on Anthropomorphic Phantoms

2005, April: Monte Carlo Topical Meeting, Tennessee

Session on “Tomographic Models for Radiation Protection Dosimetry”:

many talks about anthropomorphic phantom (mainly voxel-based models)

- GSF Male And Female Adult Voxel Models Representing ICRP Reference Man By K. Eckerman

- Effective Dose Ratios For The Tomographic Max And Fax Phantoms By R. Kramer

- Reference Korean Human Models: Past, Present and Future By C. Lee

- The UF Family of Paediatric Tomographic Models By W. Bolch and C. Lee

- Development And Anatomical Details Of Japanese Adult Male/ Female Voxel Models By T. Nagaoka

- Dose Calculation Using Japanese Voxel Phantoms For Diverse Exposures By K. Saito

- Stylized Versus Tomographic Models: An Experience On Anatomical Modelling At RPI By X. G. Xu

- Use Of MCNP With Voxel-Based Image Data For Internal Dosimetry Applications By M. Stabin

- Application Of Voxel Phantoms For Internal Dosimetry At IRSN Using A Dedicated Computational Tool

By I. Aubineay-Laniece

- The Use Of Voxel-Based Human Phantoms In FLUKA By L. Pinsky

- The Future Of Tomographic Modelling In Radiation Protection And Medicine (Panel discussion)

SPENVIS and Geant4 Workshop

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Anthropomorphic phantoms in Geant4

Requirement from Space Science G4 User Community

From QinetiQ

Executive Summary:

…More general requirements have also been identified in order to apply Geant4 to

interplanetary missions (i.e. not just restrict requirements that address nuclearnuclear

interaction physics):

A Geant4 geometry for an anthropomorphic phantom should be developed,

which can then be used in studies to more accurately determine the equivalent dose to

different human organs.This is important since the effects of self-shielding from different

parts of the body can be significant.

Ion-Nuclear Models for the Analysis of Radiation Shielding and Effects (IONMARSE) – Contract Final Report (25 June 2004)

SPENVIS and Geant4 Workshop

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Scope of the project

Development of a Geant4 package to model anthropomorphic phantoms

SPENVIS and Geant4 Workshop

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Geant4 anthropomorphic phantom

  • Geant4 offers the capability to model both voxel and mathematical phantoms

    • Voxel phantom: parameterised volumes

    • Analytical phantoms: CSG and BREPS volumes

    • Accurate description of biological materials

SPENVIS and Geant4 Workshop

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Voxel phantoms in Geant4

  • A DICOM interface is available in Geant4 to model human phantoms starting from DICOM files

3D patient anatomy

DICOM file

Acquisition of CT image

Developed by L. Archambault, L. Beaulieu, V.-H. Tremblay

(Univ. Laval and l'Hôtel-Dieu,Québec)

and improved byS. Chauvie, S. Guatelli, A. Kimura, M. G. Pia, T. Sasaki

SPENVIS and Geant4 Workshop

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Mathematical phantomsin Geant4

Development of the following analytical phantoms in Geant4:

  • K. F. Eckerman, M. Cristy, J. C. Ryman

    (The ORNL Mathematical Phantom Series)

  • W. S. Snyder, M. R. Ford, G. G. Warner, H. L. Fisher jr

    (MIRD Pamphlet # 5 Revised: “Estimates of absorbed fraction for monoenergetic photon sources uniformly distributed in various organs of a heterogeneous phantom”, J Nucl Med Suppl 3, 1969)

Established reference data

SPENVIS and Geant4 Workshop

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Geant4 Phantom Package

  • Novel approach thanks to an advanced OO design

  • Possibility to have both voxel and analytical phantoms in the same environment

  • Possibility to compose a phantom out of different analytical models

  • Mix and match voxel and analytical components

    • Optimize the CPU and memory resources and accuracy of the simulation

SPENVIS and Geant4 Workshop

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Software process

  • Quality and reliability of the software are essential requirements

  • Iterative and incremental process model

    • Develop, extend and refine the software in a series of steps

    • Get a product with a concrete value and produce results at each step

    • Assess quality at each step

  • Rational Unified Process (RUP) adopted as process framework

    • Mapped onto ISO 15504

adopt a rigorous software process

SPENVIS and Geant4 Workshop

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Summary of software products

User Requirements

Analysis and design



SPENVIS and Geant4 Workshop

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User Requirements

SPENVIS and Geant4 Workshop

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Anthropomorphic phantom: URD (1)

The anthropomorphic model includes the body components

Body regions: trunk, neck, head, legs, male genitalia

Skeletal system: leg bone, arm bone, pelvis, spine, cranium, facial skeleton, skull,

rib cage, clavicles, scapulae

Gastrointestinal tract and contents: esophagus, stomach, intestine

Heart and contents: outer surface of heart, left ventricle, right ventricle, left atrium,

right atrium, heart

Organs: adrenals, brain, breasts, gall bladder, kidney, liver, lung, ovary, pancreas, skin,

spleen, testes, thymus, lobes of thyroid, urinary bladder, uterus

SPENVIS and Geant4 Workshop

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Anthropomorphic phantom: URD (2)

Composition of tissues:

  • The user shall be able to define composition of each tissue

  • The user shall be able to associate a defined material to an organ of the phantom


  • The user shall be able to retrieve the position and material of the body region

    traversed by tracks

User interface:

  • The user shall be able to select a phantom by the sex, age and the model

  • The user shall be able to define a phantom using parts derived from different


  • The user shall be able to create specific body region corresponding to subset of

    the phantom


  • The user shall be able to visualize the geometrical set-up

  • The user shall be able to visualize the particle tracks

SPENVIS and Geant4 Workshop

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Anthropomorphic phantom: design

  • Domain decomposition:

  • Abstraction of the process of the building a phantom

  • Abstraction of the description of a phantom model

SPENVIS and Geant4 Workshop

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Design patterns

The Builder design patternhas been adopted to control the definition of anatomy components in the phantom

Abstract Factory

  • The Abstract Factory design pattern is adopted to define anatomic structures

  • The user can select organs communicating with the abstract interface G4VBodyFactory, independently from their concrete classes


SPENVIS and Geant4 Workshop

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Use of GDML

G4 Anthropomorphic phantoms

SPENVIS and Geant4 Workshop

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  • First version by G. Horton-Smith (Caltech, USA),

  • Revised by G. Guerrieri (INFN Genova) as part of this work and by D. Anninos (CERN, Cornell University, USA)

New solid in Geant4: G4Ellipsoid

Most of the organs can easily be approximated by:

  • Ellipsoid

  • Circular and elliptical oblique cone

  • Elliptical cone

  • Torus with elliptical section

not implemented in the Geant4 Geometry!

  • G4EllipticalCone:

  • Implemented by D. Anninos (CERN, Cornell University, USA)

G4Ellipsoid and G4Elliptical Cone available from next public G4 Release

SPENVIS and Geant4 Workshop

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GDML: Geometry Description Markup Language


CSG solids:

- box

- tube

- cone

- sphere

- parallelepiped

- trapezoid

- general trapezoid

Boolean solids:

- union

- subtraction

- intersection

  • GDML is used to define organs in terms of geometry, position and rotation in the experimental set-up, material

  • GDML has been extended with the ellipsoid

  • The GDML Processor is now able to handle an ellipsoid

Material definitions

- isotopes

- elements

- complex materials

- molecules

- mixtures built from

elements and/or

other complex materials by fractional mass

  • The GDML package has been extended to create parameterised volumes for the elliptical tube

SPENVIS and Geant4 Workshop

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How to use the G4Phantom

  • Work in progress, current status below:

    • The GDML files contain the information concerning the organs

    • The user can choose to define the entire anthropomorphic phantom (ORNL or MIRD) or just some organs through the interactive session

    • The user can choose interactively:

      • phantom by sex

      • phantom by model (ORNL, MIRD or mix)

    • The user can set organs sensitive

      • The energy deposit given by both primary and secondary particles is collected in sensitive volumes

SPENVIS and Geant4 Workshop

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Arm Bones








Upper Large Intestine




Lower Large Intestine

Urinary Bladder

Leg Bones

Not visible: Brain (in the skull)

Female ORNL Anthropomorphic Phantom

  • Three materials used to model human tissues:

  • Skeleton,

  • Lungs,

  • Soft tissue

SPENVIS and Geant4 Workshop

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Female ORNL Anthropomorphic Phantom

SPENVIS and Geant4 Workshop

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TrackID: 2 -> LegBonesORNLVolume -> Energy deposit: 3.4576726 MeV

TrackID: 2 -> BodyVolume -> Energy deposit: 5.1323606 MeV

TrackID: 2 -> BodyVolume -> Energy deposit: 5.1711365 MeV

TrackID: 2 -> BodyVolume -> Energy deposit: 701.06096 keV

TrackID: 16 -> BodyVolume -> Energy deposit: 807.59738 keV

TrackID: 23 -> BodyVolume -> Energy deposit: 1.497982 keV

TrackID: 22 -> BodyVolume -> Energy deposit: 2.3391091 keV

TrackID: 21 -> BodyVolume -> Energy deposit: 220.25512 eV

TrackID: 20 -> BodyVolume -> Energy deposit: 10.468365 keV

TrackID: 19 -> LegBonesORNLVolume -> Energy deposit: 16.651015 keV

TrackID: 24 -> BodyVolume -> Energy deposit: 4.0614721 keV

Female ORNL Anthropomorphic Phantom> Run 1 <

Particle: gamma

Energy: 100. MeV

no. Particle: 20

Beam Direction: along Z axis

Visualization system: OpenGL

Output of run 1

SPENVIS and Geant4 Workshop

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Use of the ORNL phantom in a radioprotection study 3.4576726 MeV

  • The anthropomorphic phantom can be used in Geant4 application to evaluate the dose in human organs

  • The anthropomorphic phantom has been integrated in the REMSIM Geant4 application for a radioprotection study in the interplanetary space

  • The anthropomorphic phantom can be used also in other Geant4 space science applications

SPENVIS and Geant4 Workshop

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phantom 3.4576726 MeV

GCR p, 106 events

Shielding study of vehicle concept

  • Relative comparison of alternative shielding solutions for transfer vehicles of astronauts to Mars

GCR protons are incident on the vehicle concept:

Simplified Inflatable habitat complemented by water shielding

SPENVIS and Geant4 Workshop

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First results 3.4576726 MeV


  • Calculation of the dose in the anthropomorphic phantom



SPENVIS and Geant4 Workshop

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Conclusions 3.4576726 MeV

Analytical phantoms

  • Novel approach to model anthropomorphic phantoms

  • Voxel phantoms

  • Analytical phantoms

    Mix and match voxel/analytical

    in the same simulation environment

  • Analytical anthropomorphic phantoms have been implemented in Geant4

    • Further developments in progress

  • The MIRD and ORNL analytical models will be released in a Geant4 advanced example in December 2005

  • The G4 anthropomorphic phantom is easy to integrate in Geant4 applications



Voxel phantoms

(DICOM interface)

SPENVIS and Geant4 Workshop