Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy is used broadly across many disciplines, such as analytical chemistry, structural biology or drug discovery. Scientists using NMR are challenged by the low sensitivity of NMR, which slows down research and increases research costs. Currently, the only commercially available options to increase sensitivity are cryo-probes, which typically yield a sensitivity improvement of no more than a factor of 4. In contrast, the technique of Dynamic Nuclear Polarization (DNP) has proven to be vastly more successful in increasing sensitivity in both solid- and solution-state NMR experiments, showing improvements of more than a factor of 40 (400 MHz, 1H Larmor Frequency). The new Bridge12 research is focused on responding to this demand because researchers currently cannot take advantage of these enhancements due to the lack of commercially available DNP probes.
The first prototype will be designed to operate at an NMR spectrometer frequency of 300 MHz but the technology is expected to work at NMR frequencies even above 600 MHz. The proposed probe can be retrofitted to existing NMR spectrometers, therefore preserving the significant investments in existing NMR platforms, and making the benefits of DNP-enhanced NMR spectroscopy available to a larger community.
The successful development of this technology will enable the rapid proliferation of DNP-enhanced solution-state NMR spectroscopy for structural biology, pharmaceutical research, and analytical chemistry.
“The biggest challenge of bringing the benefits of DNP to solution-state NMR spectroscopy is the extreme sample heating caused by the microwave/THz irradiation”
“Sensitivity has always been a major problem in NMR spectroscopy and DNP has more than proven itself in academic research, but the industry still lacks turn-key instrumentation,”
The SBIR grant was awarded from the National Institute of General Medicine (NIGMS), part of the National Institute of Health (NIH), in the amount of US$ 197,717 over a one-year period.
Bridge12 Technologies develops terahertz technology for applications in science, medicine, security and defense. Overcoming current technology barriers, the company closes the ‘terahertz gap’ with compact sources that are powerful, efficient, and rapidly deployable. Bridge12 Technologies’
Bridge12 is a high-tech start-up founded by former scientists of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Its scientific team has over a decade of expertise in high-frequency terahertz (THz) sources such as gyrotrons, microwave technology, and magnetic resonance spectroscopy. The executive team combines know-how of over 3 decades in project management, information technology, health care, and consumer products. For more information, visit www.bridge12.com.