Traveling-wave magnetic resonance imaging utilizes far fields of a single-piece patch antenna in the magnet bore to generate radio frequency fields for imaging large-size samples, such as the human body. In this work, the feasibility of applying the “traveling-wave” technique to parallel imaging is studied using microstrip patch antenna arrays with both the numerical analysis and experimental tests. A specific patch array model is built and each array element is a microstrip patch antenna. Bench tests show that decoupling between two adjacent elements is better than -26-dB while matching of each element reaches -36-dB, demonstrating excellent isolation performance and impedance match capability. The sensitivity patterns are simulated and g-factors are calculated for both unloaded and loaded cases. The results on B sensitivity patterns and g-factors demonstrate the feasibility of the traveling-wave parallel imaging. Simulations also suggest that different array configuration such as patch shape, position and orientation leads to different sensitivity patterns and g-factor maps, which provides a way to manipulate B1 fields and improve the parallel imaging performance. The proposed method is also validated by using 7T MR imaging experiments. Magn Reson Med, 2011. © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.