Researchers have developed and tested an MR coil for high-quality imaging of the whole mouse. Such coils are required for preclinical studies of drugs, as well as for targeted examination of various body systems. Due to the design features, the new coil provides three times higher image quality than a commercial volume MR coil, usually used in such studies. The coil is low cost, and the manufacturing technology can be adapted for different studies.

The coil has an optimal size and field of view for mouse imaging. (Credit: ITMO University)

A number of its design advantages makes it possible to get a high-quality image. The coil has an optimal size and field of view for mouse imaging. A metastructure with a distributed capacity at the base of the coil provides an ability to choose the size of the resonator tuning it to the dimensions of the mouse in order to avoid extra noise reception. In this case, the radio-frequency magnetic field intensity in the area of interest is much larger than the one produced by the standard volume coil. It provides a uniform spatial distribution of the received signal. This leads to a high sensitivity of the coil in the entire field of view and improves the image quality.

The work started with numerical modeling. This helped to optimize the geometry of the coil, as well as to choose materials. After that, the researchers made a coil prototype and conducted experiments on the phantom and mice.

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