Transmit field pattern control for high field magnetic resonance imaging with integrated RF current sources
Kurpad, Krishna Nagaraj
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The primary design criterion for RF transmit coils for MRI is uniform transverse magnetic (B1) field. Currently, most high frequency transmit coils are designed as periodic, symmetric structures that are resonant at the imaging frequency, as determined by the static magnetic (B0) field strength. These coils are excited by one or more voltage sources. The distribution of currents on the coil elements or rungs is determined by the symmetry of the coil structure. At field strengths of 3T and above, electric properties such as the dielectric constant and conductivity of the load lead to B1 field inhomogeneity due to wavelength effects and perturbation of the coil current distribution from the ideal. The B1 field homogeneity under such conditions may be optimized by adjusting the amplitudes and phases of the currents on the rungs. However, such adjustments require independent control of current amplitudes and phases on each rung of the resonant coil. Due to both the strong coupling among the rungs of a resonant coil and the sensitivity to loading, such independent control would not be possible and B1 homogeneity optimization would involve a time consuming and impractical iterative procedure in the absence of exact knowledge of interactions among coil elements and between the coil and load. This dissertation is based on the work done towards the design and development of a RF current source that drives high amplitude RF current through an integrated array element. The arrangement is referred to as a current element. Independent control of current amplitude and phase on the current elements is demonstrated. A non-resonant coil structure consisting of current elements is implemented and B1 field pattern control is demonstrated. It is therefore demonstrated that this technology would enable effective B1 field optimization in the presence of lossy dielectric loads at high field strengths.