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Keywords:

  • parametric amplifier;
  • varactor;
  • wireless

Abstract

A completely wireless detection coil with an integrated parametric amplifier has been constructed to provide local amplification and transmission of MR signals. The sample coil is one element of a parametric amplifier using a zero-bias diode that mixes the weak MR signal with a strong pump signal that is obtained from an inductively coupled external loop. The NMR sample coil develops current gain via reduction in the effective coil resistance. Higher gain can be obtained by adjusting the level of the pumping power closer to the oscillation threshold, but the gain is ultimately constrained by the bandwidth requirement of MRI experiments. A feasibility study here shows that on a NaCl/D2O phantom, 23Na signals with 20 dB of gain can be readily obtained with a concomitant bandwidth of 144 kHz. This gain is high enough that the integrated coil with parametric amplifier, which is coupled inductively to external loops, can provide sensitivity approaching that of direct wire connection. Magn Reson Med, 2012. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.