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Design, Implementation, Evaluation and Application of a 32-Channel Radio Frequency Signal Generator for Thermal Magnetic Resonance Based Anti-Cancer Treatment

Han, Haopeng; Eigentler, Thomas Wilhelm; Wang, Shuailin; Kretov, Egor; Winter, Lukas; Hoffmann, Werner; Grass, Eckhard; Niendorf, Thoralf

Thermal Magnetic Resonance (ThermalMR) leverages radio frequency (RF)-induced heating to examine the role of temperature in biological systems and disease. To advance RF heating with multi-channel RF antenna arrays and overcome the shortcomings of current RF signal sources, this work reports on a 32-channel modular signal generator (SGPLL). The SGPLL was designed around phase-locked loop (PLL) chips and a field-programmable gate array chip. To examine the system properties, switching/settling times, accuracy of RF power level and phase shifting were characterized. Electric field manipulation was successfully demonstrated in deionized water. RF heating was conducted in a phantom setup using self-grounded bow-tie RF antennae driven by the SGPLL. Commercial signal generators limited to a lower number of RF channels were used for comparison. RF heating was evaluated with numerical temperature simulations and experimentally validated with MR thermometry. Numerical temperature simulations and heating experiments controlled by the SGPLL revealed the same RF interference patterns. Upon RF heating similar temperature changes across the phantom were observed for the SGPLL and for the commercial devices. To conclude, this work presents the first 32-channel modular signal source for RF heating. The large number of coherent RF channels, wide frequency range and accurate phase shift provided by the SGPLL form a technological basis for ThermalMR controlled hyperthermia anti-cancer treatment.
Published in: Cancers, 10.3390/cancers12071720, MDPI