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Published: 2023-11-14

Inauguration of unique NMR that determines the structure of insoluble materials

NEWS On 16 November, a combined NMR equipment for non-soluble samples at Umeå University is inaugurated by vice-chancellor Hans Adolfsson. The event is celebrated with a one-day symposium with invited international speakers.

Researchers from other countries have already asked for access to our equipment!

“The new equipment for non-soluble samples was purchased two years ago and is now, with the addition of a MAS cryoprobe for NMR, the only one of its kind. Researchers from other countries have already asked for access to our equipment!,” says Gerhard Gröbner, professor at the Department of Chemistry and director of the national platform for NMR spectroscopy at Umeå University together with Juergen Schleucher, professor at the Department of Medical Chemistry and Biophysics .

Gerhard further explains:

“This instrument is unique in that it can measure insoluble substances and biopsies with a much higher sensitivity and significantly smaller sample volume than before; a whole new level of possibilities for NMR on solids in terms of signal strength and detection of small amounts of material in complex samples.”

In chemistry science, NMR spectroscopy is used to find out the structure and composition of molecules, usually in aqueous solution in the presence of a strong magnetic field. Umeå University's NMR facility is located in the basement of the KBC building and was installed in 2012 with contributions from the Kempestiftelserna and Umeå University. Since then, continuous upgrades have been made over the following ten years.

The infrastructure currently consists of five different spectrometers (360-850 MHz) and provides support for a variety of scientific questions in life science, material science and plant research where different types of samples need to be analyzed. The technology can be used to determine 3D structures of everything from small organic molecules to proteins as well as the composition of complex samples such as blood samples or cancer biopsies.

“A concrete example of application is structural determination of amyloid deposits in the brain to understand Alzheimer's disease and find approaches to prevent this,” says Gerhard Gröbner.

The infrastructure is part of the national networks Swedish NMR Centre, SwedNMR and SciLifeLab and has large operations.

“Approximately 80 research groups locally and nationally use our machines annually.”

On 16 November, the world-unique NMR equipment is inaugurated in Umeå with a scientific symposium where a large number of key people in the field are present.

The symposium is sponsored by the Umeå Centre for Microbial Research, UCMR, at Umeå University.

About the symposium:

Time: 16 November at 9:30-16:45
Venue: Carl Kempe lecture hall
9:45-10:00 by vice-chancellor Hans Adolfsson
12.00-13.30 Lunch and NMR site seeing

Journalists are welcome!

Read the entire programme

History NMR at Umeå University

The NMR machines were installed in 2012 with a grant from the Kempestiftelserna and Umeå University. Since then, continuous upgrades have been made within the KAW program NMRforLife where Umeå's infrastructure became a node in the Swedish NMR Center at Gothenburg University and Umeå University. From 2016, Umeå University's NMR facility is also part of the national SciLifeLab infrastructure and from 2022 also of the Swedish Research Council's funded SwedNMR initiative.

The equipment for non-soluble samples (111 kHz solid-phase probe for 850MHz NMR) was purchased with support from KAW in 2020. The MAS cryoprobe was purchased in 2022 with support from the Kempestiftelsen, SciLifeLab and Umeå University.

The platform for NMR spectroscopy at Umeå University

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