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Perfusion Phantom for Quantitative Medical Imaging

Invention Number: 
A medical imaging perfusion phantom, which reproduces the anatomy and physiology of a 60 kg patient and simulates blood flow in the large thoracic vessels and in the myocardium.

The Problem

Techniques such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computerised tomography (CT), positron emission computed tomography (PET), single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) and ultrasound imaging are widely used diagnostic tools for a wide range of medical investigations.  For instance, the potential use of CT for the assessment of myocardial perfusion has long been recognised. However, only recently have advances in CT technology resulted in potential widespread clinical application.  The most prevalent method of CT perfusion (CTP) is a single time point comparison of contrast agent at rest and under pharmacological stress.  

Myocardial ischaemia is a major determinant of cardiovascular risk and perfusion imaging is an essential tool for the guidance of interventional strategies. Myocardial perfusion MRI represents a highly accurate clinical perfusion imaging technology, with higher spatial resolution than PET and SPECT and excellent correlation with invasive fractional flow reserve (FFR) data.  Myocardial perfusion MRI is usually evaluated by visual assessment or by semi-quantitative approaches, mainly due to a lack of reliable standardisation of the analysis methods, partly due to the lack of a gold standard for validation of the results.

The Solution

The inventors have developed and validated a medical imaging perfusion phantom, which reproduces the anatomy and physiology of a 60 kg patient and simulates blood flow in the large thoracic vessels and in the myocardium.  This novel approach allows quantitative perfusion and angiographic studies to be carried out with high accuracy in the MRI and CT environments. Following on from the physiological phantom, devices can be produced to reproduce certain pathological features (i.e. narrowings – stenosis – or dilatation –aneurysms).  This is particularly relevant for teaching of quantitative cardiac perfusion imaging and to simulate the hemodynamic consequences of vascular abnormalities of organ tissue perfusion.


It is anticipated that the phantom device will find applications in quality control, validation or calibration of monitoring devices such as MRI, CT or PET scanners. Uses of the phantoms will also include training of machine operatives and for research purposes, including research into the scanner hardware, software, techniques and reagents used in such processes. 

Although the phantoms produced to date have focused on cardiac perfusion, medical imaging phantoms of other organ systems are envisaged (e.g. liver, kidney, brain).

Perfusion Phantom for Quantitative medical imagingPatent Status

An international PCT Application was filed taking priority from an earlier filing (priority date: 11 Mar 2013). This has been followed by national filings in the European, USA and Chinese patent offices.  The Applicant is King’s College London. 

KCL Principle Investigator: Dr Amedeo Chiribiri (Cardiologist and researcher)

Further Information  

Related, complimentary patents, claim quantitative imaging-based techniques for assessing perfusion abnormalities.


Dr Ceri J. Mathews
IP & Licensing Manager
King’s College London
Tel:  +44 (0)207 848 8129