“Enhancing surface coil sensitive volume with hybridized electric dipoles at 17.2 Tesla”, Marc Dubois, Tania S. Vergara Gomez, Camille Jouvaud, Abdelwaheb Ourir, Julien de Rosny, Frank Kober, Redha Abdeddaim, Stefan Enoch, Luisa Ciobanu, Journal of Magnetic Resonance (2019)
Partners : AMU (Institut Fresnel and CRMBM), CNRS (Institut Langevin), CEA-LETI Grenoble, CEA Neurospin
Abstract : Preclinical MR applications at 17.2 T can require field of views on the order of a few square centimeters. This is a challenging task as the proton Larmor frequency reaches 730 MHz. Most of the protocols at such frequencies are performed with surface transceiver coils for which the sensitive volume and the signal to noise ratio (SNR) is given by their size. Here we propose an approach based on metamaterials in order to enhance the sensitive volume of a commercial surface coil for small animal imaging at 17.2 T. We designed a passive resonator composed of four hybridized electric dipoles placed onto the floor of the MRI bed. Combining numerical and experimental results on a phantom and in vivo, we demonstrate a 20% increase of the sensitive volume in depth and 25% along the rostro-caudal axis while maintaining more than 85% of the local SNR right beneath the surface coil plane. Moreover, our solution gives the ability to double the average SNR in the region between 1.2-2 cm away from the loop using a single layer of 1 mm thick metallic wires easy to design and manufacture.