A smart switching system to enable automatic tuning and detuning of metamaterial resonators in MRI scans

Shimul Saha*, Roberto Pricci, Maria Koutsoupidou, Helena Cano-Garcia, Ditjon Katana, Srinivas Rana, Panagiotis Kosmas, George Palikaras, Andrew Webb, Efthymios Kallos

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


We present a radio-frequency-activated switching system that can automatically detune a metamaterial resonator to enhance magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) performance. Local sensitivity-enhancing metamaterials typically consist of resonant components, which means that the transmitted radio frequency field is spatially inhomogeneous. The switching system shows for the first time that a metamaterial resonator can be detuned during transmission and tuned during reception using a digital circuit. This allows a resonating system to maintain homogeneous transmit field while maintaining an increased receive sensitivity. As a result, sensitivity can be enhanced without changing the system-provided specific absorption rate (SAR) models. The developed digital circuit consists of inductors sensitive to the transmit radio-frequency pulses, along with diodes acting as switches to control the resonance frequency of the resonator. We first test the automatic resonator detuning on-the-bench, and subsequently evaluate it in a 1.5 T MRI scanner using tissue-mimicking phantoms. The scan results demonstrate that the switching mechanism automatically detunes the resonator in transmit mode, while retaining its sensitivity-enhancing properties (tuned to the Larmor frequency) in receive mode. Since it does not require any connection to the MRI console, the switching system can have broad applications and could be adapted for use with other types of MRI scanners and field-enhancing resonators.

Original languageEnglish
Article number10042
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2020


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