Development and experimental testing of microstrip patch antenna-inspired RF probes for 14 T MRI scanners

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Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering


Radio frequency (RF) probes for ultrahigh-field magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) systems were developed from structures inspired by microstrip patch antennas. The patch structures provide an alternative to conventional surface coils. We show that these structures, operating as resonators, can produce strong magnetic fields, which act as B1 fields in MRI studies. The addition of high permittivity inserts to the patch substrate was beneficial for increasing B1 field uniformity. It was also shown by simulations that two vis-à-vis placed identical patches fed with 180° phase difference could produce uniform B1 field in the space between patches and could be used as volume RF probes. This possibility was confirmed by experiments with fabricated prototypes in the VARIAN 14.1 T MRI scanner. We further show that the B1 uniformity is enhanced over larger volume with properly profiled substrates of higher permittivity, along with smaller radiation losses. These probes were found competitive and even advantageous in comparison with birdcage coils because of better stability of their Q-factors at loading by lossy phantoms. Thus, patch-based probes offer a viable alternative to RF probes for ultrahigh field MRI.

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© 2018 IEEE. Publisher’s version of record: https://doi.org/10.1109/TMTT.2018.2874266

Publication Title

IEEE Transactions on Microwave Theory and Techniques