At the Berlin Ultrahigh Field Facility we explore the advantages and needs of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) at 7 Tesla. Apart from the magnet and the gradient system, the radio frequency (RF) coils form an essential part of the MR system and are a topic of intense research. Ultrahigh field systems are not yet in clinical use and the number of commercial coils for these systems is very limited, hence the coil design is an important part of our facility’s work. Since higher magnetic fields require higher frequencies, one has to deal with a stronger interaction of the RF fields with the human tissue. Therefore conventional coil designs established at lower magnetic field strengths cannot be directly applied at 7.0 T which asks for new concepts and developments. To accelerate and streamline the design of new coils, our group recently started to use CST STUDIO SUITE®. Together with detailed voxel models of human bodies (the “Virtual Family” by the ITIS Foundation), we use the CST package to simulate the distribution of the magnetic field and the RF power distribution in the patient’s body with the ultimate goal to optimize our coil designs for reasons of B1-homogeneity and local SAR distribution. Some of the first results will be shown to illustrate the application of CST STUDIO SUITE in one of our projects, i.e. the design of a multi channel transmit/receive coil array for cardiovascular MRI at 7.0 Tesla.
Christof Thalhammer, Berlin Ultrahigh Field Facility, Max-Delbrueck-Center