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Double-tuned radio-frequency (RF) coils for heteronuclear mangentic resonance (MR) require sufficient electromagnetic isolation between the two resonators operating at two Larmor frequencies and independent tuning in order to attain highly efficient signal acquisition at each frequency. In this work, a novel method for double-tuned coil design at 7T based on the concept of common-mode differential-mode (CMDM) was developed and tested. Common mode (CM) and differential mode (DM) currents exist within two coupled parallel transmission lines, e.g., microstrip lines, yielding two different current distributions. The electromagnetic (EM) fields of the CM and DM are orthogonal to each other, and thus, the two modes are intrinsically EM decoupled. The modes can be tuned independently to desired frequencies, thus satisfying the requirement of dual-frequency MR applications. To demonstrate the feasibility and efficiency of the proposed CMDM technique, CMDM surface coils and volume coils using microstrip transmission line for 1H and 13C MRI/MRSI were designed, constructed, and tested at 7T. Bench test results showed that the isolations between the two frequency channels of the CMDM surface coil and volume coil were better than -30 and -25 dB, respectively. High quality MR phantom images were also obtained using the CMDM coils. The performance of the CMDM technique was validated through a comparison with the conventional two-pole design method at 7T. The proposed CMDM technique can be also implemented by using other coil techniques such as lumped element method, and can be applied to designing double-tuned parallel imaging coil arrays. Furthermore, if the two resonant modes of a CMDM coil were tuned to the same frequency, the CMDM coil becomes a quadrature coil due to the intrinsic orthogonal field distribution of CM and DM.
Date of Publication: Nov. 2011