Design, implementation, evaluation and application of a 32-channel radio frequency signal generator for thermal magnetic resonance based anti-cancer treatment


  • H. Han
  • T.W. Eigentler
  • S. Wang
  • E. Kretov
  • L. Winter
  • W. Hoffmann
  • E. Grass
  • T. Niendorf


  • Cancers


  • Cancers 12 (7): 1720


  • 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 (SG(PLL)). The SG(PLL) 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 SG(PLL). 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 SG(PLL) revealed the same RF interference patterns. Upon RF heating similar temperature changes across the phantom were observed for the SG(PLL) 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 SG(PLL) form a technological basis for ThermalMR controlled hyperthermia anti-cancer treatment.