For this Phase II STTR proposal, the investigators plan to develop and commercialize the radiofrequency (RF) coil technology to make 7T body MRI possible, and to translate this new technology to vastly improve 3T clinical MRI as well. In the Phase I project leading to this proposal, all specific aims were accomplished to demonstrate the feasibility of safely and successfully imaging the human body for the first time with commercially available technology at 7T. This technology incorporated a number of innovations including automatic tuning and matching, and multi-channel transmit RF field shimming. Unlike the whole body coil built into the bore of clinical magnets, the RF coil technology developed here is easily retrofitted to existing systems, atop the patient table and fitting closely to the body for improved efficiency. The Phase II project proposed will deliver an improved commercial package of this device with the built-in, multi-channel dedicated power amplifiers required to drive it. Because this technology offers advantages of multi-channel RF field control, optimization, and efficiency, it would bring new advantages to 3T clinical imaging as well. Accordingly, a 3T clinical body coil system will be developed for commercial offering as well.
We plan to provide, for the first time, a commercial radiofrequency (RF) body coil system for human MRI at 7 Tesla, along with an improved body coil system for 3-Tesla clinical imaging. These body coils will combine multi-channel RF-field optimization capability together with automatic tuning and matching, and significant transmit efficiency gains through conformal fit and on-coil, channel-dedicated power amplifiers. This new RF technology will make 7T body imaging possible and 3T body imaging substantially improved.