A novel hexagonal coil design for simultaneous imaging of multiple small animals is presented. The design is based on a coaxial cavity and utilizes the magnetic field formed between two coaxial conductors with hexagonal cross-sections. An analytical solution describing the B1 field between conductors of the hexagonal coil was found from the Biot-Savart law. Both experimental results and analytical calculations showed a variation in the B1 field within the imaging region of less than 10%. Numerical calculations predicted ∼35% improvement in B1 field homogeneity with the hexagonal coil design compared to a cylindrical coaxial cavity design. The experimentally-measured signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of the hexagonal coil loaded with six 50-mM phantoms was only 4-5% lower than that of a single parallel plate resonator loaded with one phantom. In vivo spin-echo (SE) images of six 7-day-old rat pups acquired simultaneously demonstrated sufficient SNR for microimaging. The construction scheme of the coil, simple methods for tuning and matching, and an anesthesia device and animal holder designed for the coil are described. The hexagonal coil design utilizes a single receiver and allows for simultaneous imaging of six small animals with no significant compromise in SNR.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging