Date of Award

2008

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Engineering Science

Program

Biomedical Engineering

Supervisor

Dr. Ravi S. Menon

Second Advisor

Dr. Rob Bartha

Third Advisor

Dr. Brian K. Rutt

Abstract

The main goal of this thesis is to design and develop a transmit/receive (transceive) coil array for small animal imaging at 9.4T. The goal is achieved by following basic RF design principles with a methodical construction approach and demonstrating viable applications. As operational frequencies increase linearly with higher static fields, the wavelength approaches the size of the sample being imaged. The resulting standing wave mode deteriorates image homogeneity. Fortunately, with multi-channel coil arrays, the produced Bi field can be tailored to produce a homogeneous excitation in the region of interest, thus overcoming the so called dielectric resonance effect. We examined a solution to achieve a higher level of Bx homogeneity and we compared the improvement of RF wavelength effects reduction against the results obtained with a similar-sized conventional birdcage coil. An additional benefit of this design lies in the fact that the use of multiple receiving coil elements is necessary for the implementation of fast imaging acquisition techniques such as parallel imaging. This is possible because the distinct element sensitivities are used to reconstruct conventional images from undersampled (or accelerated) data. The greatest advantage of parallel imaging is thus the reduction of total acquisition time. In functional MRI (fMRI), single-shot EPI is one of the standard imaging technique. Unfortunately, EPI suffers from significant limitations, precisely because all of the data is acquired following a single RF excitation. As a result EPI images can manifest artifacts and blurring due to susceptibility mismatch, off-resonance effects and reduced signal at the edges of k-space. Fortunately, parallel imaging can be used to decrease such unwanted effects by reducing the total k-space data acquired. Presented in this thesis is the logical progression of the construction of a transceive coil from surface coil fundamentals to high field applications such as field focusing and parallel imaging techniques.

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