AUTHORS: Wenz D, Gruetter R

Frontiers in Physics, 9: 675509, June 2021


Shortened dipole antennas based on rectangular dielectric blocks play an important role in ultrahigh field magnetic resonance imaging (UHF-MRI) radio frequency (RF) coil design. However, the generally assumed direct contact with the subject is difficult to maintain in typical in vivo settings. We have previously observed that certain dielectrically shortened dipole antennas can produce a substantially altered transmit field distribution with a very low transmit efficiency when the block and the sample are physically separated. Therefore, the aim of this study was to determine a) why certain designs of dielectrically shortened dipole antennas can produce an inefficient transmit field when the block and the sample are physically separated and b) how this depends on key parameters such as rectangular block geometry, dielectric constant, loading geometry, and RF feeding. In this work, two main types of quasi-transverse dielectric modes were found in different rectangular block geometries and interpreted as TEz11δ (MR efficient) and TEy1δδ (MR inefficient), and their impact on in vivo MRI experiments involving the human head, calf, and wrist was explored. This study shows, for the first time, why certain antennas preserve their transmit field efficiency despite physical separation from the sample. We conclude that the proposed approach has the potential to provide new insights into dipole antenna design for UHF-MRI.

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