DFG AV 216/5

Main objectives of the UHF-NeuroBoost project are the developments of the novel pTx optimized 16-element Tx/64-element Rx RF array coils with extended transmit (Tx) and receive (Rx) coverage for human head/neck UHF neuro-MRI at 7T, 9.4T and 11.7T. The optimization of the array will be carried out with an evaluation of the pTx pulse performance guiding the design process. We will optimize both the Tx performance and SNR of the arrays. Since at UHF, dipole/loop combined arrays have been shown to improve both the Tx performance and central SNR as compared to common loop arrays, we will consider combining loops and dipoles in designing the arrays. As part of the development, we will compare a common double-layer ToRo setup, which consists of two nested Tx and Rx arrays, with a novel hybrid type of single-layer RF array coil consisting of a combination of TxRx elements with Rx-only elements. We also plan incorporating local B0 shim loops into the RF coil structure. Not to compromise designing the RF coil, we will optimize the number of B0 shim loops and put them in a few critical places. Finally, we will construct three 16-ch Tx/64-ch Rx UHF array coils for each site. New arrays will be evaluated both on phantoms and in-vivo and compared with existing UHF array coils using pTx at each of three sites. Thus, the array optimization will include the following steps: i) optimization of the Tx-part of the array will be guided by a simultaneous pTx pulse sequence evaluation; ii) optimization of both Tx- and Rx- parts of the array will include combining loops and dipoles; and finally, iii) the array design will include a B0-shimming setup. To the best of our knowledge, this project will provide a first example of such complete pipeline optimization of the UHF pTx head/neck (or just head) array, not to mention that an RF coil providing uniform transmit coverage or optimal SNR over the entire human brain and C-spine at UHF has never been previously reported.


Avdievich, Nikolai. Department High-Field Magnetic Resonance, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany

Mauconduit, Frank. NeuroSpin/Baobab, CEA, Université Paris-Saclay, Gif-sur-Yvette, France

Quick, Harald. High-Field and Hybrid MR Imaging, University Hospital Essen, Erwin L. Hahn Institute for MR Imaging, University of Duisburg-Essen, Essen, Germany

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