A 16-channel loop array for in vivo macaque whole-brain imaging at 3 T

Zhiyan Quan, Yang Gao, Shuxian Qu, Xiaojie Wang, Robert M. Friedman, Mykyta M. Chernov, Christopher D. Kroenke, Anna Wang Roe, Xiaotong Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Non-human primates (NHPs) are vital models for neuroscience research. These animals have been widely used in behavioral, electrophysiological, molecular, and more recently, multimodal neuroimaging and neuro-engineering studies. Several RF coil arrays have been designed for functional, high-resolution brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), but few have been designed to accommodate multimodal devices. In the present study, a 16-channel array coil was constructed for brain imaging of macaques at 3 Tesla (3 T). To construct this coil, a close-fitting helmet-shaped form was designed to host 16 coil loops for whole-brain coverage. This assembly is mountable onto stereotaxic head frame bars, and the coil functions while the monkey is in the sphinx position with a clear line of vision of stimuli presented from outside of the MRI system. In addition, 4 openings were allocated in the coil housing, allowing multimodal devices to directly access visual cortical regions such as V1-V4 and MT. Coil performance was evaluated in an anesthetized macaque by quantifying and comparing signal-to-noise ratios (SNRs), noise correlations, and g-factor maps to a vendor-supplied human pediatric coil frequently used for NHP MRI. The result from in vivo experiments showed that the NHP coil was well-decoupled, had higher SNRs in cortical regions, and improved data acquisition acceleration capability compared with a vendor-supplied human pediatric coil that has been frequently used in macaque MRI studies. Furthermore, whole-brain anatomic imaging, diffusion tensor imaging and functional brain imaging have also been conducted: the details of brain anatomical structure, such as cerebellum and brainstem, can be clearly visualized in T2-SPACE images; b0 SNR calculated from b0 maps was higher than the human pediatric coil in all regions of interest (ROIs); the time-course SNR (tSNR) map calculated for GRE-EPI images demonstrates that the presented coil can be used for high-resolution functional imaging at 3 T.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)167-172
Number of pages6
JournalMagnetic Resonance Imaging
StatePublished - May 2020


  • 3 T
  • Multimodal neuroimaging
  • Non-human primates
  • RF coil

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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