RF coils design for small animal MRI lung imaging at 3T using hyperpolarized 129Xe and inert fluorinated gases
DisciplineEngineering : Electrical & Computer
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This thesis described the investigation, construction and testing of two sets of RF coils for their applications in novel lung MRI imaging techniques. In the first part of the thesis, a quadrature-driven birdcage coil for rat lung MRI using inert fluorinated gases was developed. Methods for coil tuning and impedance matching were presented and discussed. The sensitivity improvement resulted from a quadrature-driven mode was quantitatively measured, and compared to the linear reference. A dual-angle method (DAM) was studied and implemented to quantitatively measure the B1 field homogeneity, and a B1 field map was generated at the center of the coil. In vivo rat lung imaging experiments were conducted using the constructed coil, and the multi-slice images acquired from the rat lung were presented. In the second part of the thesis, a 1H-129Xe double-birdcage coil for rat lung MRI using hyperpolarized 129Xe gas was developed. The Q factors of each coil was measured and compared before and after the double-birdcage structure was formed. The coupling between the two coils was tested, and a geometrical decoupling method was implemented and optimized. Imaging scans using thermal xenon phantom and saline syringe phantom were conducted with image registration post-processing performed, and the dual-frequency scan ability of the developed coil was verified and evaluated.