3D-printed applicators for high dose rate brachytherapy: Dosimetric assessment at different infill percentage

Rosalinda Ricotti, Andrea Vavassori, Alessia Bazani, Delia Ciardo, Floriana Pansini, Ruggero Spoto, Vittorio Sammarco, Federica Cattani, Guido Baroni, Roberto Orecchia, Barbara Alicja Jereczek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Dosimetric assessment of high dose rate (HDR) brachytherapy applicators, printed in 3D with acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) at different infill percentage. Materials and methods: A low-cost, desktop, 3D printer (Hamlet 3DX100, Hamlet, Dublin, IE) was used for manufacturing simple HDR applicators, reproducing typical geometries in brachytherapy: cylindrical (common in vaginal treatment) and flat configurations (generally used to treat superficial lesions). Printer accuracy was investigated through physical measurements. The dosimetric consequences of varying the applicator's density by tuning the printing infill percentage were analysed experimentally by measuring depth dose profiles and superficial dose distribution with Gafchromic EBT3 films (International Specialty Products, Wayne, NJ). Dose distributions were compared to those obtained with a commercial superficial applicator. Results: Measured printing accuracy was within 0.5. mm. Dose attenuation was not sensitive to the density of the material. Surface dose distribution comparison of the 3D printed flat applicators with respect to the commercial superficial applicator showed an overall passing rate greater than 94% for gamma analysis with 3% dose difference criteria, 3. mm distance-to-agreement criteria and 10% dose threshold. Conclusion: Low-cost 3D printers are a promising solution for the customization of the HDR brachytherapy applicators. However, further assessment of 3D printing techniques and regulatory materials approval are required for clinical application.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPhysica Medica
Publication statusAccepted/In press - May 28 2016


  • 3D printing
  • Applicator
  • Brachytherapy
  • Dosimetry
  • Infill percentage
  • Low-cost 3D printer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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