Bruker GHz-Class NMR Takes Structural Biology and Micro-MRI Research of Dutch uNMR-NL Consortium to New Levels


UTRECHT, Netherlands – February 18, 2022 – The Dutch ultra-high field nuclear magnetic resonance consortium (uNMR-NL) is broadening its scientific research capabilities with a new Bruker 1.2 GHz Avance NMR system installed at Utrecht University.

The uNMR-NL consortium consists of research groups at Utrecht University, Wageningen University, Radboud University, Leiden University, the private-public partnership COAST and associated members at the academic medical centers in Utrecht, Amsterdam, Leiden and Nijmegen. With this advanced GHz-class NMR technology, the consortium and its national and international academic and industrial users will expand their disease research and discovery of new medicines, materials research for energy storage and conversion, and plant research for improving photosynthesis, agriculture and food quality.

In addition to utilizing the improved sensitivity and the enhanced resolution of 1.2 GHz for NMR spectroscopy, the uNMR-NL consortium is the first to use a 1.2 GHz spectrometer for micro-imaging, using specialized Bruker micro-MRI probe technology. This will allow the researchers to obtain both molecular structural information and 3D magnetic resonance images of samples.

“The installation of the new 1.2 GHz system in 2021 represents a milestone for future NMR and micro-MRI based research in analytical science and beyond,” concludes Dr. Marc Baldus, Professor at Utrecht University and Coordinator of the uNMR-NL Consortium.

With the new Avance 1.2 GHz system, researchers will now be able to study complex biomolecular systems ranging from dynamic molecular networks to membrane and cell-embedded protein machines, and the processes operating on nucleosomes within cells with unprecedented resolution. On the materials side, the new instrumentation will support the bottom-up design of emerging energy conversion technology such as bioinspired and biohybrid artificial photosynthesis for producing fuel and chemicals with light, similar to the natural processes that occur in plants.

In addition, the new GHz-class instrument will aid the study of inorganic materials such as the hybrid halide perovskites for photovoltaic applications and novel solid electrolytes for safer and more compact batteries. Furthermore, the 1.2 GHz system will be a game changer for revealing the active sites in relevant catalysts.

Prof. Marc Baldus, Coordinator of the uNMR-NL Consortium.
Example of GHz-NMR enabled research on Nucleosomes serving as a binding platform for hundreds of proteins to regulate processes such as gene expression and DNA repair.

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