'ACOUSTO-OPTIC SENSING FOR SAFE MRI PROCEDURES'
Yaras, Yusuf Samet
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In this work, a novel sensor platform is developed for safer and more effective magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). This is achieved by tracking interventional devices, such as guidewires and catheters during interventional MRI procedures, and by measuring the radio frequency (RF) field to assess RF safety of patients with implants, such as pacemakers, during diagnostic MRI. The sensor is based on an acousto-optic modulator coupled with a miniature antenna. This structure is realized on an optical fiber which is immune to the RF field and eliminates the need for conducting lines. The acousto-optic modulator consists of a piezo-electric transducer and a fiber Bragg grating (FBG). The piezoelectric transducer is electrically connected to the miniature antenna and mechanically coupled to the FBG. Local RF signal received by the miniature antenna is converted to acoustic waves by the piezoelectric transducer. Acoustic waves change the grating geometry on the FBG, thus the reflected light from the FBG is modulated. For diagnostic imaging, short dipole antennas are used for sensing the local electric field, which is the primary cause of RF induced heating. For tracking purposes, small loop antennas are used for capturing local MRI signal which contains the location information. In this thesis, a comprehensive model for the acousto-optic modulator is developed and validated through sensitivity and linearity tests. Prototype RF field sensors are built and characterized: sensitivity of 1.36mV/nT and 98 μV/V/m with minimum detectable field strength of 8.2pT/√Hz and 2.7V/m/√Hz and dynamic range of 117dB/√Hz at 23MHz are achieved with 4mm single loop and 8mm short dipole antennas, respectively. These figures are competitive with commercial sensors with much larger form factors. Catheter tracking capability of the sensor under MRI is demonstrated in-vivo in swine in a 0.55T scanner using an 8F catheter in addition to phantom studies under 0.55T and 1.5T clinical MRI systems.