Stretchable 4-Channel Neck RF Coil for 3T MRI
Advancements on flexible radiofrequency (RF) coils have been made to accommodate a variety of body sizes with great image quality and a comfortable imaging process. RF coils are magnetic field antennas for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) that broadcast the RF signal to the patient and receive the returning signal to affect the image quality. The conventional neck RF coil is rigid and requires the patients to be in supine position. Due to its characteristics, the patients who have difficulties to move their neck experience an uncomfortable imaging process. The novel 4-channel neck RF coil is made of conductive silver thread embroidered on stretchable fabric to provide patients a more comfortable experience with lightweight and flexible materials. A wide range of neck sizes can be covered with the stretchable materials and great image quality can be acquired due to the RF coil positioned close to the source. The stretchable RF coil was built as non-overlapping 4 channels in zigzag stitch pattern and tested on a dielectric phantom, which was made to have the permittivity and conductivity of muscle at 128 MHz. The research can be extended to stretchable RF coils with more channels and different stitching patterns. It also has potential to be applied on joints such as wrist and ankle due to its flexibility to cover the curved surface.