Project Work Package 1


Expanding services for Nuclear Magnetic Resonance at CERM/CIRMMP

Leader: Prof. Isabella Felli

  • Expanding the potential of the flagship instrument of Instruct-IT. (UNIFI-CERM)
  • Expanding services for Nuclear Magnetic Resonance at CERM/CIRMMP. (UNIFI-CERM)
  • Increasing the quality and quantity of access to high-field NMR instrumentation. (UNIFI-CERM)
NMR spectroscopy is experiencing terrific improvements in technology and, in parallel, biomolecular NMR has evolved significantly in scope over the last decade, allowing increasingly complex applications. This has brought up the necessity of highly specialized hardware, a crucial aspect for exploiting at best the potential of this highly sophisticated spectroscopic tool. CERM/CIRMMP, Instruct-ERIC center for NMR, constitutes the ideal environment to render each instrument “unique”, with specific features optimized for different applications. Pushing the frontier, the highest magnetic field spectrometer available nowadays (1200 MHz – 28.2 T), now features a CryoprobeTM optimized for 13C and 15N direct detection which provides a leap forward in terms of resolution for solution NMR spectroscopy. Solid matrices instead require the use of magic angle spinning (MAS). The availability of a MAS probe at 1200 MHz will push further the frontier also in this area. Moreover, a wide range of magnets operating at different fields complete the pool of instruments in the infrastructure. This allows for “specialized” instruments for different purposes, such as the possibility of investigating different kinds of nuclear spins. To this end, we can excite additional nuclear spins, such as 19F or 31P, as well as than the common 1H, 13C and 15N with specifically tailored probes (QCI-F and QCI-P respectively). The QCIF probe is very useful for drug discovery, in-cell studies as well as to address key problems within complex proteins without the need for complete resonance assignment. The QCI-P probe instead can provide interesting information on protein-nucleic acids interactions since it allows to bring nucleic acid backbones into the picture. More powerful gradients enable us to exploit at best the potential of NMR spectroscopy to investigate the diffusion of molecules in high magnetic fields through diffusion-ordered spectroscopy (DOSY). This approach can reveal interesting information also on protein-protein interactions. The console operating the NMR spectrometer also constitutes a crucial element of each NMR instrument. State-of-the-art Bruker AVANCE NEO consoles greatly enhance the performance of NMR instruments by providing for example the possibility to exploit multiple receivers to simultaneously acquire more than one FID.
New consoles will be implemented at 950 MHz and 700 MHz wide-bore NMR instruments.