This instrument is located at the MagLab's AMRIS Facility at the University of Florida in Gainesville.

This instrument is located at the MagLab's AMRIS Facility at the University of Florida in Gainesville.

At 21.1 tesla, this is the strongest MRI scanner in the world for small animals. It is located in the MagLab's Tallahassee headquarters.

This week at the lab, engineers are fine-tuning a new magnet that will offer scientists a novel way to do nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR).

The magnet, along with a new cabinet and console, comprise the lab’s new 600 MHz spectrometer, which will be used for a new measurement technique with a very long name: magic angle spinning dynamic nuclear polarization. MAS DNP, as it is more reasonably called, gives scientists deciphering the structure of molecules a clearer picture of what they are looking at.

The 2,000-pound Bruker superconducting magnet was installed earlier this month, connected to cryogen and a power supplies, and ramped up to full field, 14.1 teslas. A special feature of the instrument is a second, small, "sweepable" magnet coil that allows scientists to fine-tune the field and frequency of the instrument.

In NMR spectroscopy, scientists put the material they are studying – let’s say a protein – inside the magnet, then direct radio waves of a specific frequency at it. These in turn send back signals identifying certain atoms, thus helping scientists piece together the sample’s structure. In the MAS DNP technique, a solvent containing free radicals is added to the sample. When irradiated with microwaves, the result is much stronger NMR signals and thus a clearer idea of the material’s structure.

This new setup, located in the MagLab’s Nuclear Magnetic Resonance and Magnetic Resonance Imaging / Spectroscopy Facility, is among just a few in the world and the only one open to outside scientists, said Thierry Dubroca, a MagLab physicist who has helped develop the capability. The new system will be available to scientists in early 2016. Scientists interested in using MAS DNP should contact Thierry Dubroca, Zhehong Gan, Ivan Hung, Joanna Long.


Video by Stephen Bilenky / Text by Kristen Coyne

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Federal grant to fund new tools for biology research in high magnetic fields

The MagLab has state-of-the art facilities to conduct MRI/S, diffusion and in vivo studies at record-high magnetic fields.

In Tallahassee, we have vertical widebore magnets that are capable of performing MR microimaging for both in vivo, in vitro and materials applications. They are equipped with Bruker Avance spectrometers and widebore imaging gradients providing diameters up to 63 mm on the 21.1 T magnet.

In Gainesville, we have a 750 MHz (17.6 tesla) widebore (89-mm) system for microimaging and in vivo imaging and spectroscopy with a 600 MHz (14 tesla) standard bore (52-mm) system for microimaging. Both systems are Bruker Avance consoles. There are two horizontal scanners (4.7 T/33 cm and 11.1 T/40 cm) dedicated for animal imaging, and a 3 tesla human scanner for translational studies.

External users can utilize animal facilities and technicians at both locations.

Staff Contacts

For more information please contact:

  • Sam Grant (Tallahassee)
  • Joanna Long (Gainesville)
  • Tom Mareci (Gainesville)
  • Jens Rosenberg (Tallahassee)
  • Victor Schepkin (Tallahassee)
  • Glenn Walter (Gainesville)
  • Huadong Zeng (Gainesville)
  • Andreas Neubauer took the extended stay option during his recent trip to the MagLab. After all, you can't rush art — especially when it's mixed with science.

    Combining tremendous strength with a high-quality field, the MagLab’s newest instrument promises big advances in interdisciplinary research.

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