A Homogeneous Transmit Coil for High Field Human NMR

Period of Performance: 09/30/2003 - 09/29/2005


Phase 2 STTR

Recipient Firm

Bioengineering, Inc.
Stillwater, MN 55082
Principal Investigator


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): In this Phase II STTR project, the investigators plan to extend their successful Phase I feasibility demonstration to the development and manufacture of an RF body coil plus phased array receive system for use in high field clinical and research MRI systems. In Phase I, the feasibility of a large homogeneous transmit coil based on the TEM design was proven, published, and patented (pending). The first actively detuned TEM volume coil was developed together with receiver coils for neuroimaging applications in the accelerating number of high field (3T +) MRI systems delivered without body coils. This actively detuned TEM head coil was also developed as a first step toward a body coil, the goal of this Phase II grant. Why is a body coil needed for high field NMR? The option of body coil transmission for homogeneous excitation and surface coil or phased array reception for highest SNR is favored in clinical imaging at 1 .5T. This option is not yet generally available for the increasing number of systems operating at fields higher than 1 .5T. While manufacturers are currently developing body coils, mostly by the birdcage design for 3T, the short coil lengths, limited homogeneous field of views, 25kW-35kW power amplifier requirements, and consequentially curtailed pulse protocol options indicate that an efficient or otherwise optimal body coil design has not yet been found for 3T. For 4T and above, there are no current options for true, whole body imaging. A high field body coil together with dedicated receiver coils are needed to increase the MRI protocol options, signal to noise, and spectral resolution for a multitude of diagnostic and research applications. High field NMR has great potential as a tool for imaging and spectroscopy based research and diagnosis of neurological disorders, cardiovascular diseases, and cancer. The goal of this proposal, the provision of a body coil and dedicated receivers for the highest magnetic field strengths, will bring the fullest benefit of high field NMR to the study of health and disease in the human body.