Shape Optimization of an Electric Dipole Array for 7 Tesla Neuroimaging
IEEE transactions on medical imaging
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Radio-frequency (RF) arrays constructed using electric dipoles have potential benefits for transmit and receive applications using the ultra-high field (UHF) MRI. This paper examines some of the implementation barriers regarding dipole RF arrays for human head imaging at 7 T. The dipole array was constructed with conformal, meandered dipoles with dimensions selected utilizing an evolutionary-based optimization routine to shape-optimize the dipole structure. Coupling matrix synthesis (CMS) was utilized to decouple the dipole array. Mean and worst-case transmission between nearest-neighbour dipoles was -17.2 and -15.5 dB, respectively (±2.4 dB). Transmit efficiencies of 24.6 nT/V for the entire brain and 26.0 nT/V across the axial slice were observed. The total and peak 10-g SAR, normalized to 1 Watt accepted input power per channel, was 0.163 and 0.601 W/kg, respectively. Maximum and mean noise correlations were -17 dB and -32 dB, respectively. The use of both CMS and a novel shape optimization routine to design a dipole array translated into sufficient transmit uniformity with a simultaneous reduction in 10-g SAR in comparison to a non-optimized dipole array of the same geometry. As a receiver, the dipole array maintained high orthogonality between elements, resulting in strong parallel imaging performance.