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Proposed radio frequency probes create homogeneous magnetic field within a phantom under study. (Credit: Credit: Navid P. Gandji)
Proposed radio frequency probes create homogeneous magnetic field within a phantom under study. (Credit: Credit: Navid P. Gandji)

Researchers have discovered that radio frequency probes with structures inspired by microstrip patch antennas increase MRI resolution in high-frequency MRI machines, when compared to conventional surface coils used now.

The design is relatively simple: MPAs are made of a flat piece of metal grounded by a larger piece of metal. MPAs are an alternative where waves oscillate in the cavity formed between the patch and ground plane electrodes, which are accompanied by currents in the patch electrode and, respectively, oscillating magnetic fields around the patch, providing a magnetic field that is both even and strong.

Because of the damage high-frequency radio waves cause to humans, the study was limited to high frequency machines — not the metal tube that we’re used to seeing in hospitals and medical centers. Humans can only sustain frequencies up to seven Teslas, but ultrahigh fields up to 21.1 Teslas can be used in testing on animal models, and in tissue samples.

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