The UK High-Field Solid-State NMR Facility offers state-of-the-art instrumentation and some of the highest magnetic fields (850 MHz and 1 GHz) available in the world for NMR solid biological samples. The high magnetic field creates a separation between the signals of similar chemical moieties.
In biological samples there are many repeating units, such as amino acids in proteins, sugars in cellulosic material, nucleic acids in DNA and RNA, and lipids in cell membranes. Small differences in the signal position indicates differences in the structure and activity of the system. In the case of metallo-proteins, signals from the protein around the metal center will change in intensity and/or position depending on the oxidation state of the metal. The signal arising from the metal nucleus can also be observed to change depending on the environment provided by the surrounding protein.
The facility is equipped to handle delicate samples, such as membrane proteins and plant material, with large volume, slow rotation sample containers. State of the art small volume, fast rotation sample containers are also available for high resolution proton detection experiments. Finally, quadrupolar NMR for metal detection can also be performed at the Facility.
Dr Trent Franks is happy to advise on possible applications and sample preparation.