Microstrip Patch Antenna for High-resolution MRI
By MedTech Outlook | Monday, February 18, 2019
Technological developments in healthcare have enabled progress in diagnosis and application. This massive progress is made through global collaboration, which is increasingly supported by technology. Medical diagnostics rely heavily on research and observation data. As imaging technology performance improves, it continues to provide better insights into the patients’ conditions. The meaningful display of this information not only improves the visibility for doctors but also makes it possible to communicate this insight more effectively.
A magnetic resonance imaging system (MRI) creates an image with high-frequency signals from an exciting subject. Its detector is said to be an RF probe because the frequency belongs to the radio frequency range. The RF probe regulates image quality. A wireless RF coil works by inductive coupling and is used in today's widely used MRI systems.
Researchers from the Pennsylvania State University have discovered that radio frequency samples with structures inspired by microstrip patch antennas increase MRI resolution in high-frequency MRI machines compared to conventional surface coils currently used. This new study was published in Transactions on Microwave Theory and Techniques.
The design of the Microstrip patch antenna (MPA) is relatively simple. MPA is made of a flat metal piece grounded by a larger metal piece. They are cost-effective, simple, and easy to make, and are often used in telecommunications.
MRIs work by emitting radio frequency pulses in a magnetic field via coil or birdcage samples. It is then used to create an image. But these conventional coils have frequency limits. Too high and uniform magnetic fields cannot be created at the volume required by researchers.
MPAs are an alternative in which waves oscillate in the cavity formed between the electrodes of the patch and the ground plane. They are accompanied by currents in the electrode of the patch and oscillating magnetic fields around the patch. This provides an even and strong magnetic field. Patch-based samples can provide quality performance in the higher range of microwaves with a relatively simple structure
Due to the damage caused to humans by high-frequency radio waves, the study was limited to high-frequency machines. The next step of the team is to continue using electrical engineering to modify these samples to improve their performance and expand the capabilities for high-resolution MRI machines and improve the images they create.