Design and construction of an actively frequency-switchable RF coil for field-dependent Magnetisation Transfer Contrast MRI with fast field-cycling

Chang-Hoon Choi, James M S Hutchison, David J Lurie

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Magnetisation Transfer Contrast (MTC) is an important MR contrast-generating mechanism to characterise the MR-invisible macromolecular protons using an off-resonance pre-saturation RF irradiation pulse (or MT pulse). MTC MRI is normally implemented at a fixed magnetic field; however, it may be useful to evaluate changes of the MT effect as a function of external magnetic field strength (B(0)). In order to conduct field-dependent MTC experiments with a single MR system, two techniques are crucially needed. B(0) should be able to be switched between levels during irradiation of the MT pulse. At the same time, the resonance frequency of the RF coil (f(0)) should also be able to be shifted to the corresponding value. Switching B(0) is attained by the fast field-cycling technique, while in order to switch f(0), a specially designed multi-tunable RF coil is required. Here, we designed and constructed an actively frequency-switchable RF coil for frequencies at and below 2.5MHz. The design employed PIN diodes, and enabled switching f(0) between five different values, with excellent impedance matching (approximately -37dB S(11) reflection) and Q-factor of about 100 at each configuration.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)134-139
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Magnetic Resonance
Issue number1
Early online date30 Aug 2010
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2010



  • multi-tunable coil
  • PIN diode switch
  • field cycling
  • magnetisation transfer

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