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Science. 2001 Feb 2;291(5505):849-51.

Microstructured magnetic materials for RF flux guides in magnetic resonance imaging.

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  • 1Marconi Caswell Ltd., Caswell, Towcester, Northants NN12 8EQ, UK.


Magnetic resonance imaging and spectroscopy systems use coils, either singly or as arrays, to intercept radio-frequency (RF) magnetic flux from regions of interest, often deep within the body. Here, we show that a new magnetic material offers novel possibilities for guiding RF flux to the receiver coil, permitting a clear image to be obtained where none might otherwise be detectable. The new material contains microstructure designed according to concepts taken from the field of photonic band gap materials. In the RF range, it has a magnetic permeability that can be produced to specification while exhibiting negligible direct-current magnetism. The latter property is vital to avoid perturbing the static and audio-frequency magnetic fields needed to obtain image and spectral data. The concept offers a new paradigm for the manipulation of RF flux in all nuclear magnetic resonance systems.

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