Technical Papers

An MRI Compatible RF MEMs Controlled Wireless Power Transfer System

April 01, 2019


In magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), wearable wireless receive coil arrays are a key technology goal. An MRI compatible wireless power transfer (WPT) system will be needed to realize this technology. An MRI WPT system must withstand the extreme electromagnetic environment of the scanner and can- not degrade MRI image quality. Here, a WPT system is developed for operation in MRI scanners using new microelectromechanical RF (RF MEMs) switch technology. The WPT system includes a class-E power amplifier, RF MEMs automated impedance matching, a primary coil array employing RF MEMs power steering, and a flexible secondary coil with class-E rectification. To adapt WPT technology to MRI, techniques are developed for operation at high magnetic field, and to mitigate the RF interac- tions between the scanner and WPT system. A major challenge was the identification and suppression of noise and harmonic interference, by gating, filtering, and rectifier topologies. The system can achieve 63% efficiency while exceeding 13-W delivery over a coil distance of 3.5 cm. For continuous WPT beyond 5 W, added filters and full-wave class-E rectification lower harmonic generation at some cost to efficiency, while image signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) reaches about 32% of the ideal. RF-gated WPT, which interrupts power transfer in the MRI signal acquisition interval, achieves SNR performance to within 1 dB of the ideal. With further refinement, the inclusion of WPT technology in MRI scanners appears completely feasible.

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