Decoupling of a double-row 16-element tight-fit transceiver phased array for human whole-brain imaging at 9.4 T

Nikolai I. Avdievich, Ioannis A. Giapitzakis, Andreas Pfrommer, Gunamony Shajan, Klaus Scheffler, Anke Henning

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

One of the major challenges in constructing multi-channel and multi-row transmit (Tx) or transceiver (TxRx) arrays is the decoupling of the array's loop elements. Overlapping of the surface loops allows the decoupling of adjacent elements and also helps to improve the radiofrequency field profile by increasing the penetration depth and eliminating voids between the loops. This also simplifies the design by reducing the number of decoupling circuits. At the same time, overlapping may compromise decoupling by generating high resistive (electric) coupling near the overlap, which cannot be compensated for by common decoupling techniques. Previously, based on analytical modeling, we demonstrated that electric coupling has strong frequency and loading dependence, and, at 9.4 T, both the magnetic and electric coupling between two heavily loaded loops can be compensated at the same time simply by overlapping the loops. As a result, excellent decoupling was obtained between adjacent loops of an eight-loop single-row (1 × 8) human head tight-fit TxRx array. In this work, we designed and constructed a 9.4-T (400-MHz) 16-loop double-row (2 × 8) overlapped TxRx head array based on the results of the analytical and numerical electromagnetic modeling. We demonstrated that, simply by the optimal overlap of array loops, a very good decoupling can be obtained without additional decoupling strategies. The constructed TxRx array provides whole-brain coverage and approximately 1.5 times greater Tx efficiency relative to a transmit-only/receive-only (ToRo) array, which consists of a larger Tx-only array and a nested tight-fit 31-loop receive (Rx)-only array. At the same time, the ToRo array provides greater peripheral signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and better Rx parallel performance in the head–feet direction. Overall, our work provides a recipe for a simple, robust and very Tx-efficient design suitable for parallel transmission and whole-brain imaging at ultra-high fields.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere3964
JournalNMR in biomedicine
Volume31
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2018
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • array optimization
  • decoupling
  • human head imaging
  • transceiver arrays
  • ultra-high-field MRI

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Spectroscopy

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