Novel inductive decoupling technique for flexible transceiver arrays of monolithic transmission line resonators

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Abstract

Purpose:

This article presents a novel inductive decoupling technique for form-fitting coil arrays of monolithic transmission line resonators, which target biomedical applications requiring high signal-to-noise ratio over a large field of view to image anatomical structures varying in size and shape from patient to patient.

Methods:

Individual transmission line resonator elements are mutually decoupled using magnetic flux sharing by overlapping annexes. This decoupling technique was evaluated by electromagnetic simulations and bench measurements for two- and four-element arrays, comparing single- and double-gap transmission line resonator designs, combined either with a basic capacitive matching scheme or inductive pickup loop matching. The best performing array was used in 7T MRI experiments demonstrating its form-fitting ability and parallel imaging potential.

Results:

The inductively matched double-gap transmission line resonator array provided the best decoupling efficiency in simulations and bench measurements (<−15 dB). The decoupling and parallel imaging performance proved robust against mechanical deformation of the array.

Conclusion:

The presented decoupling technique combines the robustness of conventional overlap decoupling regarding coil loading and operating frequency with the extended field of view of nonoverlapped coils. While demonstrated on four-element arrays, it can be easily expanded to fabricate readily decoupled form-fitting 2D arrays with an arbitrary number of elements in a single etching process. Magn Reson Med 73:1669–1681, 2015. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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