Multiplexed Receiver Coil Array for MRI

Period of Performance: 06/01/1994 - 07/31/1995

Unknown

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Invivo Corporation
Gainesville, FL 32608
Principal Investigator

Abstract

The need for greater image resolution, higher contrast, small fields of view and shorter imaging times has driven the development of larger magnets, improvements in imaging techniques and more efficient radio frequency (RF) transducers. Optimization of the magnet is well underway while pulse techniques and RF coil development continue to provide significant improvements at a modest cost. The latest improvement in RF coil technology has been the introduction of the coil array with multichannel receivers. The currently available version of this technology is very expensive (ca. $250K) because of the need for a complete receiver channel to match each element in the array. The main thrust of this proposal is to provide the performance advantage of the multichannel system through the use of a high-speed multiplexer. This approach would simplify the necessary hardware by putting the output of the coil array through a time division multiplexing unit. This unit could be marketed for a modest cost ($25K) and be designed as an add-in to existing MRI systems. The feasibility of this approach has been shown in the Phase I grant with a minimum number of connections to an existing MRI system. Additionally, improvements have been made in quadrature coil array elements which can be incorporated into the multiplexing system. Such a system would provide the high performance and throughput required from modem imaging systems at a fraction of the cost and complexity of existing technology.