Enhanced NMR reveals chemical structures in a fraction of the time

Friday, January 18, 2019 - 14:10 in Physics & Chemistry

MIT researchers have developed a way to dramatically enhance the sensitivity of nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR), a technique used to study the structure and composition of many kinds of molecules, including proteins linked to Alzheimer’s and other diseases. Using this new method, scientists should be able to analyze in mere minutes structures that would previously have taken years to decipher, says Robert Griffin, the Arthur Amos Noyes Professor of Chemistry. The new approach, which relies on short pulses of microwave power, could allow researchers to determine structures for many complex proteins that have been difficult to study until now. “This technique should open extensive new areas of chemical, biological, materials, and medical science which are presently inaccessible,” says Griffin, the senior author of the study. MIT postdoc Kong Ooi Tan is the lead author of the paper, which appears in Sciences Advances on Jan. 18. Former MIT postdocs Chen Yang and Guinevere...

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