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Abstract #3849

Enhancing FMRI Sensitivity at 7T with a Modular 16-Channel Small Element Surface Coil

Natalia Petridou1, M Italiaander1, B.L. van de Bank1, J.C.W. Siero1, J.M. Hoogduin1, P.R. Luijten1, D.W.J. Klomp1

1UMC Utrecht, Utrecht, Netherlands

Even though the BOLD contrast is enhanced at 7T, the finer scale of neurovascular coupling remains difficult to detect because the high spatial and temporal resolution required to explore these properties remain limited by SNR. To improve SNR we developed a 16channel surface coil comprised of 1x2cm elements arranged in 4 flexible modules that can be positioned within 1mm from the human head; we show that a surface array consisting of the theoretical smallest useful element dimension enhances SNR at 7T. This surface array can be used with high resolution fMRI to improve sensitivity as compared to conventional receiver arrays.