A smart switching system to enable automatic tuning and detuning of metamaterial resonators in MRI scans.
ABSTRACT: We present a radio-frequency-activated switching system that can automatically detune a metamaterial resonator to enhance magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) performance. Local sensitivity-enhancing metamaterials typically consist of resonant components, which means that the transmitted radio frequency field is spatially inhomogeneous. The switching system shows for the first time that a metamaterial resonator can be detuned during transmission and tuned during reception using a digital circuit. This allows a resonating system to maintain homogeneous transmit field while maintaining an increased receive sensitivity. As a result, sensitivity can be enhanced without changing the system-provided specific absorption rate (SAR) models. The developed digital circuit consists of inductors sensitive to the transmit radio-frequency pulses, along with diodes acting as switches to control the resonance frequency of the resonator. We first test the automatic resonator detuning on-the-bench, and subsequently evaluate it in a 1.5?T MRI scanner using tissue-mimicking phantoms. The scan results demonstrate that the switching mechanism automatically detunes the resonator in transmit mode, while retaining its sensitivity-enhancing properties (tuned to the Larmor frequency) in receive mode. Since it does not require any connection to the MRI console, the switching system can have broad applications and could be adapted for use with other types of MRI scanners and field-enhancing resonators.
Project description:Magnetic resonance imaging and spectroscopy (MRI and MRS) are both widely used techniques in medical diagnostics and research. One of the major thrusts in recent years has been the introduction of ultrahigh-field magnets in order to boost the sensitivity. Several MRI studies have examined further potential improvements in sensitivity using metamaterials, focusing on single frequency applications. However, metamaterials have yet to reach a level that is practical for routine MRI use. In this work, we explore a new metamaterial implementation for MRI, a dual-nuclei resonant structure, which can be used for both proton and heteronuclear magnetic resonance. Our approach combines two configurations, one based on a set of electric dipoles for the low frequency band, and the second based on a set of magnetic dipoles for the high frequency band. We focus on the implementation of a dual-nuclei metamaterial for phosphorus and proton imaging and spectroscopy at an ultrahigh-field strength of 7 T. In vivo scans using this flexible and compact structure show that it locally enhances both the phosphorus and proton transmit and receive sensitivities.
Project description:Mimicking the quantum phenomena in metamaterials through coupled classical resonators has attracted enormous interest. Metamaterial analogs of electromagnetically induced transparency (EIT) enable promising applications in telecommunications, light storage, slow light and sensing. Although the EIT effect has been studied extensively in coupled metamaterial systems, excitation of electromagnetically induced absorption (EIA) through near-field coupling in these systems has only been sparsely explored. Here we present the observation of the EIA analog due to constructive interference in a vertically coupled three-resonator metamaterial system that consists of two bright and one dark resonator. The absorption resonance is one of the collective modes of the tripartite unit cell. Theoretical analysis shows that the absorption arises from a magnetic resonance induced by the near-field coupling of the three resonators within the unit cell. A classical analog of EIA opens up opportunities for designing novel photonic devices for narrow-band filtering, absorptive switching, optical modulation, and absorber applications.
Project description:Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) at ultra-high fields (UHF), such as 7 T, provides an enhanced signal-to-noise ratio and has led to unprecedented high-resolution anatomic images and brain activation maps. Although a variety of radio frequency (RF) coil architectures have been developed for imaging at UHF conditions, they usually are specialized for small volumes of interests (VoI). So far, whole-body coil resonators are not available for commercial UHF human whole-body MRI systems. The goal of the present study was the development and validation of a transmit and receive system for large VoIs that operates at a 7 T human whole-body MRI system. A Metamaterial Ring Antenna System (MRAS) consisting of several ring antennas was developed, since it allows for the imaging of extended VoIs. Furthermore, the MRAS not only requires lower intensities of the irradiated RF energy, but also provides a more confined and focused injection of excitation energy on selected body parts. The MRAS consisted of several antennas with 50 cm inner diameter, 10 cm width and 0.5 cm depth. The position of the rings was freely adjustable. Conformal resonant right-/left-handed metamaterial was used for each ring antenna with two quadrature feeding ports for RF power. The system was successfully implemented and demonstrated with both a silicone oil and a water-NaCl-isopropanol phantom as well as in vivo by acquiring whole-body images of a crab-eating macaque. The potential for future neuroimaging applications was demonstrated by the acquired high-resolution anatomic images of the macaque's head. Phantom and in vivo measurements of crab-eating macaques provided high-resolution images with large VoIs up to 40 cm in xy-direction and 45 cm in z-direction. The results of this work demonstrate the feasibility of the MRAS system for UHF MRI as proof of principle. The MRAS shows a substantial potential for MR imaging of larger volumes at 7 T UHF. This new technique may provide new diagnostic potential in spatially extended pathologies such as searching for spread-out tumor metastases or monitoring systemic inflammatory processes.
Project description:An MRI method based on the Bloch-Siegert (BS) shift phenomenon was recently proposed as a fast and precise way to map a radio frequency (RF) transmit field (B1(+) field). For MRI at high field, the mapping sensitivity of this approach was limited by tissue heating associated with a BS irradiation pulse. To mitigate this, we investigated the possibility of lowering the off-resonance frequency of this pulse since theoretical analysis indicated that the sensitivity of Bloch-Siegert based B1(+) mapping could be substantially improved when irradiating closer to resonance. Using optimized irradiation pulse shape and gradient crushers to minimize direct excitation effects, in vivo experiments on human brains at 7 T confirmed improved sensitivity with this approach. Improved sensitivity translated into an 80% reduction in B1(+) estimation errors without increasing tissue heating. Published 2013. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.
Project description:The Doppler effect has well-established applications in astronomy, medicine, radar and metrology. Recently, a number of experimental demonstrations of the inverse Doppler effect have begun to appear. However, the inverse Doppler effect has never been observed on an electronically reconfigurable system with an external electromagnetic wave source at radio frequencies (RF) in experiment. Here we demonstrate an experimental observation of the inverse Doppler shift on an electronically reconfigurable RF metamaterial structure, which can exhibit anomalous dispersion, normal dispersion or a stop band, depending on an applied bias voltage. Either inverse or normal Doppler shift is realized by injecting an external RF signal into the electronically reconfigurable metamaterial, on which an electronically controllable moving reflective boundary is formed. The effective velocity of this boundary and the resulting frequency shift can be tuned over a wide range by a digital switching circuit. This work is expected to open up possibilities in applying the inverse Doppler effect in wireless communications, radar and satellite navigation.
Project description:Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) provides excellent cross-sectional images of the soft tissues in patients. Unfortunately, MRI is intrinsically slow, it exposes patients to severe acoustic noise levels, and is limited in the visualization of certain tissues such as bone. These limitations are partly caused by the timing structure of the MRI exam which first generates the MR signal by a strong radio-frequency excitation and later acquires the weak MRI signal. Concurrent excitation and acquisition (CEA) can overcome these limitations, but is extremely challenging due to the huge intensity difference between transmit and receive signal (up to 100?dB). To suppress the strong transmit signals during signal reception, a fully automated analog cancellation unit was designed. On a 3 Tesla clinical MRI system we achieved an on-resonance analog isolation of 90?dB between the transmit and receive path, so that CEA images of the head and the extremities could be acquired with an acquisition efficiency of higher than 90% at sound pressure levels close to background noise. CEA with analog cancellation might provide new opportunities for MRI in tissues with very short T2 relaxation times, and it offers a silent and time-efficient MRI acquisition.
Project description:The thermal stability of monolithic optical microresonators is essential for many mesoscopic photonic applications such as ultrastable laser oscillators, photonic microwave clocks, and precision navigation and sensing. Their fundamental performance is largely bounded by thermal instability. Sensitive thermal monitoring can be achieved by utilizing cross-polarized dual-mode beat frequency metrology, determined by the polarization-dependent thermorefractivity of a single-crystal microresonator, wherein the heterodyne radio-frequency beat pins down the optical mode volume temperature for precision stabilization. Here, we investigate the correlation between the dual-mode beat frequency and the resonator temperature with time and the associated spectral noise of the dual-mode beat frequency in a single-crystal ultrahigh-Q MgF2 resonator to illustrate that dual-mode frequency metrology can potentially be utilized for resonator temperature stabilization reaching the fundamental thermal noise limit in a realistic system. We show a resonator long-term temperature stability of 8.53 μK after stabilization and unveil various sources that hinder the stability from reaching sub-μK in the current system, an important step towards compact precision navigation, sensing, and frequency reference architectures.
Project description:A real-time humidity sensor based on a microwave resonator coupled with a poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) polystyrene sulfonate (PEDOT:PSS) conducting polymer (CP) film is proposed in this paper. The resonator is patterned on a printed circuit board and is excited by electromagnetic field coupling. To enhance the sensitivity of the sensor, the CP film is located in the area with the strongest electric field in the resonator. To investigate the performance, the proposed sensor is placed alongside a reference sensor in a humidity chamber, and humidity is injected at room temperature. The experimental results indicate that the electrical properties of the resonator with the CP film, such as the transmission coefficient (S 21) and resonance frequency, change with the relative humidity (RH). Specifically, as the RH changes from 5% to 80%, S 21 and the resonance frequency change simultaneously. Moreover, the proposed sensor exhibits great repeatability in the middle of the sensing range, which is from 40% to 60% RH. Consequently, our resonator coupled with the CP film can be used as a real-time humidity-sensing device in the microwave range, where various radio-frequency devices are in use.
Project description:A miniaturized antenna employing a negative index metamaterial with modified split-ring resonator (SRR) and capacitance-loaded strip (CLS) unit cells is presented for Ultra wideband (UWB) microwave imaging applications. Four left-handed (LH) metamaterial (MTM) unit cells are located along one axis of the antenna as the radiating element. Each left-handed metamaterial unit cell combines a modified split-ring resonator (SRR) with a capacitance-loaded strip (CLS) to obtain a design architecture that simultaneously exhibits both negative permittivity and negative permeability, which ensures a stable negative refractive index to improve the antenna performance for microwave imaging. The antenna structure, with dimension of 16 × 21 × 1.6 mm³, is printed on a low dielectric FR4 material with a slotted ground plane and a microstrip feed. The measured reflection coefficient demonstrates that this antenna attains 114.5% bandwidth covering the frequency band of 3.4-12.5 GHz for a voltage standing wave ratio of less than 2 with a maximum gain of 5.16 dBi at 10.15 GHz. There is a stable harmony between the simulated and measured results that indicate improved nearly omni-directional radiation characteristics within the operational frequency band. The stable surface current distribution, negative refractive index characteristic, considerable gain and radiation properties make this proposed negative index metamaterial antenna optimal for UWB microwave imaging applications.
Project description:Understanding sources of electromagnetic interference are important in designing any electronic system. This is especially true when combining positron emission tomography (PET) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in a multimodality system as coupling between the subsystems can degrade the performance of either modality. For this reason, eliminating radio frequency (RF) interference and gradient-induced eddy currents have been major challenges in building simultaneous hybrid PET/MRI systems. MRI requires negligible RF interference at the Larmor resonance frequency, while RF interference at almost any frequency may corrupt PET data. Moreover, any scheme that minimizes these interactions would, ideally, not compromise the performance of either subsystem. This paper lays out a plan to resolve these problems. A carbon fiber composite material is found to be a good RF shield at the Larmor frequency (300MHz in this work) while introducing negligible gradient eddy currents. This carbon fiber composite also provides excellent structural support for the PET detector components. Low frequency electromagnetic radiation (81kHz here) from the switching power supplies of the gradient amplifiers was also found to interfere with the PET detector. Placing the PET detector module between two carbon fiber tubes and grounding the inner carbon fiber tube to the PET detector module ground reduced this interference. Further reductions were achieved by adding thin copper (Cu) foil on the outer carbon fiber case and electrically grounding the PET detector module so that all 3 components had a common ground, i.e. with the PET detector in an electrostatic cage. Finally, gradient switching typical in MRI sequences can result in count losses in the particular PET detector design studied. Moreover, the magnitude of this effect depends on the location of the detector within the magnet bore and which MRI gradient is being switched. These findings have a bearing on future designs of PET/MRI systems.