NMR-MRI/S Science Highlights

16 October 2020

Probing Metal Organic Frameworks with 17O NMR at 35.2 T

Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) are porous materials with high surface areas that can host a variety of different guest molecules, leading to applications in catalysis, drug delivery, chemical separation, fuel cells, and data storage. In order to design better MOFs, knowledge of their molecular-level structures is crucial. At the MagLab, the highest-field NMR spectrometer in the world was used to probe the complex structures of MOFs both "as built" and as they exist when other "guest" molecules are inserted inside the framework.

23 March 2020

Analytical tool for in vivo triple quantum MR signals

Magnetic resonance (MR) signals of sodium and potassium nuclei during ion binding are attracting increased attention as a potential biomarker of in vivo cell energy metabolism. This new analytical tool helps describe and visualize the results of MR experiments in the presence of in vivo ion binding.

12 December 2019

Liquid State Dynamic Nuclear Polarization at High Magnetic Field

This finding demonstrates a path forward to dramatically enhance sensitivity for molecule concentration measurement by magnetic resonance using Overhauser DNP.

29 July 2019

Ultra-high magnetic fields provide new insights into bone-like materials

Very high magnetic fields now enable researchers to understand what surrounds calcium atoms in materials.

20 March 2019

Scientists identify potential biomarker for brain diseases

With advanced techniques and world-record magnetic fields, researchers have detected new MRI signals from brain tumors.

4 January 2019

Uncovering the secrets of fungal cell walls

With unprecedented sensitivity and resolution from state-of-the-art magnets, scientists have identified for the first time the cell wall structure of one of the most prevalent and deadly fungi.

10 July 2018

Metabolic assessment of migraines using ultra-high magnetic fields

The causes of migraines are not well understood, with treatment limited to addressing pain rather than its origin. Research conducted with hydrogen MRI is attempting to identify the "migraine generator."

5 September 2017

New NMR technique could lead to better batteries

Scientists can now observe lithium moving through an electrolyte in real time.

16 June 2017

MRI illuminates link between heart disease and mood disorders

High-resolution brain imaging provides evidence of depression, anxiety in diseased mice

21 November 2016

New technique for detecting brain tumors

Scientists using an MRI-friendly oxygen isotope have demonstrated a promising and safe method for identifying cancerous tumors.

18 July 2016

"Free" oxide ions detected in silicate glasses

Using an advanced technique, scientists discover that one of the most common substances in our everyday lives — glass — is more complex than we thought.

13 April 2016

Learning how protective shells form around retroviruses

Scientists gain new insights into how protective shells form around retrovirus genomes, advancing the search for drugs that will combat them.

19 November 2015

Cell phone technology makes for versatile NMR probes

Inspired by the SIM card technology used in modern cell phones, MagLab engineers designed and built a versatile magnet probe that makes it easier and more efficient for scientists to see the structure of molecules.

16 July 2015

A Decade of Science on the Ultra-Wide-Bore 900 MHz NMR Spectrometer

Ten years ago the 900 Ultra-Wide Bore magnet became available to an international user community for Nuclear Magnetic Resonance spectroscopy and Magnetic Resonance Imaging at the National High Magnetic Field Lab. Since then 69 publications have been published from this instrument spanning many disciplines and the number of publications per year continues to increase with 26 in just the past 18 months demonstrating that state of the art data continues to be collected on this superb magnet.

12 May 2015

An approach for dynamic nuclear polarization of membrane proteins

Dynamic nuclear polarization (DNP) coupled with solid state NMR can provide orders of magnitude enhancement to normally weak NMR signals, thereby enabling the study of inherently dilute proteins such as membrane proteins. Here we demonstrate a new approach to obtain DNP signal enhancements of membrane proteins by utilizing spin labeled lipids as the polarization agents. This strategy results in more than 2x in signal enhancements of a membrane protein when compared to standard DNP sample preparation techniques.

14 March 2015

First Structure of a Protein in the M. tuberculosis Cell Division Apparatus

CrgA, a key Mycobacterium tuberculosis cell division protein that recruits five other proteins to the cell division apparatus has been structurally characterized using oriented sample and magic angle spinning solid state NMR. The protein has two transmembrane helices and an intrinsically disordered N-terminus. Binding sites have been identified for it's binding partners. Evaluating these binding sites may lead to effective drugs for either promoting and inhibiting cell division, both of which are of prime interest for the treatment of tuberculosis.

17 November 2014

Metabolic properties in stroked rats revealed by relaxation-enhanced MR spectroscopy at 21.1 T

By coupling selective band excitation of metabolites with high magnetic fields, relaxation-enhanced 1H MR spectroscopy can be performed in living specimen and patients to achieve high sensitivity over very short acquisition times for the examination of cellular dysfunction. This sensitivity can be used to evaluate otherwise inaccessible metabolites or regions of the proton spectral regime and can be used to probe cell-specific environments, such as neurons versus astrocytes, that may undergo differential changes during dysregulation.

18 June 2014

Engineering Theranostic Nanovehicles to Target Cerebrovascular Amyloid

Targeted theranostic nanovehicles are capable of targeting cerebrovascular amyloid associated with Alzheimer’s Disease and serving as early diagnostic and therapeutic agents across multiple imaging modalities. Assessed in animal models at 21.1 T, these nanovehicles were loaded with gadolinium-based magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), iodine-based single photon emission computerized tomography (SPECT) or fluorescent contrast agents as well as anti-inflammatory and anti-amyloidogenic pharmaceuticals to demonstrate targeted enhancement and treatment in cerebral amyloid angiopathy.

14 March 2014

First High-Resolution Structures of Antimicrobial Peptides Reveal Important Structural Features

Structures of antimicrobial peptides piscidins 1 and 3 were solved in two bacterial cell mimics by oriented sample solid-state NMR. A significant finding of this work is that in contrast to the ideal structures shown in mechanistic studies of AMPs, the structures of both peptides are disrupted and kinked at a conserved central glycine, which results in stronger interactions with the lipid bilayers. The more pronounced imperfect amphipathicity of piscidin 1 over piscidin 3 that is revealed helps better understand why the former more effectively mixes the lipids as needed to induce the greatest damage to bacterial cells.

15 November 2013

Solid state NMR Structural Characterization of Oligomeric β-amyloid (1-42) Peptide

Solid state NMR measurements reveal an important structural distinction between different disease-relevant aggregates: oligomers and fibrils. While molecular confirmations are similar within both structures, oligomers differ from fibrils in terms of intermolecular organization of beta-strands.