A 16-element phased-array head coil.
Additional Document Info
Volume-array coils offer increased signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) over standard volume coils near the array elements while preserving the SNR at the center of the volume. As the number of array elements is increased, the SNR advantage as well as the complexity of actually constructing the array increases also. In this study, a 16-channel receive-only array for imaging of the brain is demonstrated and compared to a circularly polarized (CP) head coil of similar shape and diameter. The array was formed from a 2 x 8 grid of square elements placed on a cylindrical form. Mutual coupling was minimized by a combination of overlapping element placement and current-reducing matching networks. Simultaneous data acquisition from the 16 individual elements was performed using a four-channel receiver system with each channel time domain multiplexed by a factor of 4. Theoretical and experimental comparisons between the array and a standard CP head coil show that the array offers an increase in SNR of nearly a factor of 3 near its surface while maintaining a comparable SNR to that of the CP head coil in the center of the region of interest.