The combination of sensitive magnetic resonance techniques with a selective site-targeted nanoparticle contrast agent has a demonstrated utility for molecular imaging studies. By detecting a unique signature of the contrast agent, this approach can be employed to identify specific bio-molecular markers and observe cellular-level processes within a large and complex organism (e.g., in vivo rabbit). The objective of the present investigation was to design, fabricate and characterize a radio-frequency (RF) coil for the dual frequency (1H and 19F) simultaneous collection of both nuclei images in a 3T field, in order to facilitate studies of arthritic knee degradation in rabbits. The coil supports both transmit and receive modes. The supporting activities included: 1) establishing a technical database for calculating the required coil parameters, 2) selection of a favorable coil geometry, and 3) adaption of existing RF measurement techniques to the design, development and electrical evaluation of the coil. The coil is used in conjunction with a Philips Medical Systems clinical MRI scanner, requiring all RF simultaneous dual frequency (1H and 19F;) coils to operate in both transmit and receive modes. A commercial version of SPICE (simulation program with integrated circuit emphasis) was used to estimate significant operational parameters prior to fabricating the imaging coil. Excellent images were obtained with the fabricated coil and no operational problems were observed that would limit the use of other coil geometries and field strengths.
- Fluorine imaging
- magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- radio-frequency (RF) coil design
- targeted nanoparticle contrast agent