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Critical Reviews™ in Biomedical Engineering
SJR: 0.207 SNIP: 0.376 CiteScore™: 0.79

ISSN Imprimer: 0278-940X
ISSN En ligne: 1943-619X

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Critical Reviews™ in Biomedical Engineering

DOI: 10.1615/CritRevBiomedEng.2015013100
pages 493-526

Unconventional Gradient Coil Designs in Magnetic Resonance Imaging

Minhua Zhu
Department of Biomedical Engineering, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310027, China
Ling Xia
Department of Biomedical Engineering, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310027, China
Feng Liu
School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland 4072, Australia

RÉSUMÉ

In magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), the gradient coils are used to encode the spatial positions of protons by varying the magnetic field linearly across the imaging subject. With the latest development of MRI technique and new clinical and research applications, the gradient coil system requires increasingly innovative designs. In this paper, four unconventional gradient coil designs are reviewed: (1) local gradient coils; (2) new coil configurations with reduced peripheral nerve stimulation (PNS); (3) dedicated structures designed for hybrid systems (combining MRI with other medical devices); and (4) the full 3D coil designs. For the first type, the development of local gradient coils (mainly head coils) is discussed chronologically and divided into three stages: the "golden" stage in the 1990s, the "wane" stage in the 2000s, and the "revival" stage in the 2010s. For the second type, various designs for the reduction of PNS problems have been described, including local and whole-body gradient coil systems. For the third design, a dedicated gradient coil design for multi-modality combination is illustrated with an MRI-LINAC system. Finally, gradient systems with non-layered coil structure are described in the fourth design type. We hope that this review on unconventional gradient coil designs will be useful for the new development of MRI technology and emerging medical applications.