Apparatus and method for MRI imaging using a coil constructed of microstrip transmission line (MTL coil) are disclosed. In one method, a target is positioned to be imaged within the field of a main magnetic field of a magnet resonance imaging (MRI) system, a MTL coil is positioned proximate the target, and a MRI image is obtained using the main magnet and the MTL coil. In another embodiment, the MRI coil is used for spectroscopy. MRI imaging and spectroscopy coils are formed using microstrip transmission line. These MTL coils have the advantageous property of good performance while occupying a relatively small space, thus allowing MTL coils to be used inside restricted areas more easily than some other prior art coils. In addition, the MTL coils are relatively simple to construct of inexpensive components and thus relatively inexpensive compared to other designs. Further, the MTL coils of the present invention can be readily formed in a wide variety of coil configurations, and used in a wide variety of ways. Further, while the MTL coils of the present invention work well at high field strengths and frequencies, they also work at low frequencies and in low field strengths as well.
 This invention was partially supported by NIH grants NS38070 (W.C.), NS39043 (W.C.), P41 RR08079 (a National Research Resource grant from NIH), Keck Foundation, National Foundation for Functional Brain Imaging and the US Department of Energy. The Government may have certain rights in the invention.