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Magn Reson Med. 2011 Aug;66(2):584-95. doi: 10.1002/mrm.22791. Epub 2011 Mar 23.

A 20-channel receive-only mouse array coil for a 3 T clinical MRI system.

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Department of Diagnostic Radiology, University Hospital, Philipps University, Marburg, Germany.


A 20-channel phased-array coil for MRI of mice has been designed, constructed, and validated with bench measurements and high-resolution accelerated imaging. The technical challenges of designing a small, high density array have been overcome using individual small-diameter coil elements arranged on a cylinder in a hexagonal overlapping design with adjacent low impedance preamplifiers to further decouple the array elements. Signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and noise amplification in accelerated imaging were simulated and quantitatively evaluated in phantoms and in vivo mouse images. Comparison between the 20-channel mouse array and a length-matched quadrature driven small animal birdcage coil showed an SNR increase at the periphery and in the center of the phantom of 3- and 1.3-fold, respectively. Comparison with a shorter but SNR-optimized birdcage coil (aspect ratio 1:1 and only half mouse coverage) showed an SNR gain of twofold at the edge of the phantom and similar SNR in the center. G-factor measurements indicate that the coil is well suited to acquire highly accelerated images.

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