Coupled very-high permittivity dielectric resonators for clinical MRI

Applied Physics Letters, Volume 117, Issue 10, September 2020. Dielectric resonators made of high permittivity materials with low losses have been extensively studied for application in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and magnetic resonance spectroscopy. They can focus, redistribute, and enhance the radio frequency magnetic field in a controlled way. In this Letter, we investigate coupled very-high permittivity dielectric resonators for clinical bilateral breast MRI. The resonators are tuned to support a TE mode within the frequency of 3 T MRI and implemented as a pair of coaxial hollow cylinders consisting of ceramic rings with extremely high permittivity (ε ∼ 870) and low loss. We study the electromagnetic coupling between two resonators placed in the near field and analyze the impact of symmetric and antisymmetric mode excitation on the sensitivity of the MRI machine. We experimentally verify that the coupling of the mode with symmetric field distribution to the radio frequency body birdcage coil allows us to enhance the receive sensitivity substantially and to decrease the excitation power needed to provide the optimal transmit efficiency, thus making the MRI procedure safer. Our work offers a practical method to realize a simple yet very effective system based on dielectric resonators for bilateral breast imaging.