Underpinning Equipment for Magnetic Resonance Research

Lead Research Organisation: University of Southampton
Department Name: School of Chemistry

Abstract

Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) is a technique which uses the fact that the nuclei of many atoms act as tiny radio-transmitters, emitting radio signals at precisely-defined frequencies, which can be detected by a carefully-tuned detector. In an NMR experiment, the nuclei are first magnetised by placing a sample in a strong magnetic field for some time. A sequence of radiofrequency pulses is then applied to the sample, which subsequently emits radiowaves which are detected in the radio receiver. The pattern of emitted waves provides information on the chemical composition and spatial distribution of the sample. One application of NMR is called Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). This is used in hospitals to construct images of the interior of the human body, and is enormously useful for the diagnosis of diseases and injuries.

The magnetic resonance research centre of the University of Southampton is a world-leading facility for NMR and MRI research development. We are currently developing techniques which enhance NMR signals by factors of many thousands, which may lead to methods for the clinical detection and diagnosis of cancer by MRI, as well as numerous other applications in materials science, biochemistry, analytical chemistry, and quantum physics. The user group is growing rapidly in size, as is the range of research activities and collaborations. Our core research portfolio is supported by grants mostly from EPSRC, the Royal Society, and the EU Commission, with a total value in excess of £8M. These include recent awards of a £1.8M EPSRC Platform Grant and a £2.9M award from the EU Commission under the extremely competitive Future and Emerging Technologies - Open (FETopen) scheme.

This proposal seeks funding for upgrading NMR spectrometers that underpin cutting-edge research in magnetic resonance spectroscopy and imaging at the University of Southampton. Funds are requested for (i) the replacement of an ageing and obsolete 400MHz NMR console by a modern sem; (ii) replacement of a second ageing 400MHz NMR console by a modern 700MHz system; (iii) provision of a workhorse 400MHz NMR console to enhance the productivity and capabilities of our homebuilt equipment which is capable of enhancing NMR signals by large factors. We will reuse our existing NMR magnets so as to keep costs down. These upgrades and replacements will being our research facility up to the international standard and significantly enhance our capability to perform, expand, and apply our cutting-edge research capabilities, in a highly cost-effective manner.

Planned Impact

Impact for the project will mainly come through the research enabled by the underpinning equipment proposed, in the following categories:

1. Knowledge: Magres@soton, in collaboration with external partners, has a strong track record of producing excellent scientific results, both on the fundamental and the applied side of research. This knowledge will mainly be spread through publications in high-impact scientific journals and conference appearances. Much of the work underpinned by the proposed equipment concerns advances in magnetic resonance methodology, which will benefit other areas of science such as biology, materials science, analytical science, and medical imaging.

2. Society and Economy: The research underpinned has significant commercial relevance. Hyperpolarised NMR is targeted as a commercial opportunity by several companies, some of them headquartered in the UK. Integration of microfluidic technology with high-resolution NMR spectroscopy, another priority at Magres@soton, could find important applications in the life sciences and in healthcare, with corresponding commercial opportunities. Several collaboration projects underpinned by the proposed equipment immediately target commercially important systems, such as petrochemical catalysts, drug candidates, and novel materials.

3. People: Magnetic resonance is an advanced and complex analytical tool. Its application in science, medicine, and engineering requires highly trained specialists, who have direct experience in working with current hardware. The proposed equipment will be operated by postdoctoral research fellows, postgraduate students, and undergraduate project students, who will be fully trained in its use. This conveys a directly marketable skill, the value of which will be considerably enhanced by the proposed equipment. On the one hand, it will provide access to contemporary kit, which is more job-relevant than working with obsolescent hardware, and it will significantly increase throughput, making space for a corresponding increase in student populations.

4. Public Outreach: The magnetic resonance systems feature prominently in various public outreach programmes at the University, Faculty, and School level. For example, we annually host a number of secondary school students in the "Chemistry Work Shadow" programme, where they get direct exposure to advanced NMR systems.

Publications

10 25 50
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Alonso-Valdesueiro J (2018) Testing signal enhancement mechanisms in the dissolution NMR of acetone. in Journal of magnetic resonance (San Diego, Calif. : 1997)

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Bengs C (2020) A master equation for spin systems far from equilibrium. in Journal of magnetic resonance (San Diego, Calif. : 1997)

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Bengs C (2018) SpinDynamica: Symbolic and numerical magnetic resonance in a Mathematica environment. in Magnetic resonance in chemistry : MRC

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Bloodworth S (2018) Synthesis and Properties of Open Fullerenes Encapsulating Ammonia and Methane. in Chemphyschem : a European journal of chemical physics and physical chemistry

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Bloodworth S (2019) First Synthesis and Characterization of CH 4 @C 60 in Angewandte Chemie International Edition

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Bloodworth S (2019) First Synthesis and Characterization of CH 4 @C 60 in Angewandte Chemie

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Brown LJ (2017) Synthesis of carbon-13 labeled oxalates exhibiting extended nuclear singlet state lifetimes. in Journal of labelled compounds & radiopharmaceuticals

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Concistré M (2019) N overtone NMR under MAS: Signal enhancement using cross-polarization methods. in Journal of magnetic resonance (San Diego, Calif. : 1997)

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Dumez JN (2017) Dynamic Nuclear Polarization of Long-Lived Nuclear Spin States in Methyl Groups. in The journal of physical chemistry letters

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Eills J (2018) Preservation of Nuclear Spin Order by Precipitation. in Chemphyschem : a European journal of chemical physics and physical chemistry

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Eills J (2017) Singlet order conversion and parahydrogen-induced hyperpolarization of C nuclei in near-equivalent spin systems. in Journal of magnetic resonance (San Diego, Calif. : 1997)

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Elliott SJ (2018) NMR Lineshapes and Scalar Relaxation of the Water-Endofullerene H O@C. in Chemphyschem : a European journal of chemical physics and physical chemistry

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Elliott SJ (2018) Hyperpolarized long-lived nuclear spin states in monodeuterated methyl groups. in Physical chemistry chemical physics : PCCP

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Kouril K (2017) NMR of molecular endofullerenes dissolved in a nematic liquid crystal. in Physical chemistry chemical physics : PCCP

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Pileio G (2017) Singlet NMR methodology in two-spin-1/2 systems. in Progress in nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy

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Ripka B (2018) Hyperpolarized fumarate via parahydrogen. in Chemical communications (Cambridge, England)

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Rodin BA (2019) Fast destruction of singlet order in NMR experiments. in The Journal of chemical physics

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Sheberstov KF (2019) Excitation of singlet-triplet coherences in pairs of nearly-equivalent spins. in Physical chemistry chemical physics : PCCP

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Utz Marcel (2018) Integration of nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy with microfluidic devices: Materials and other challenges in ABSTRACTS OF PAPERS OF THE AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY

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Van Veelen A (2018) Correlative Visualization of Root Mucilage Degradation Using X-ray CT and MRI in Frontiers in Environmental Science

 
Description The equipment is now in place and fully operational. The key findings are documented in the papers that have been published over the past year, and this level of output is projected to continue over the coming several years. The equipment is well utilised.
Exploitation Route The outputs of this work are important for the development of Nuclear Magnetic Resonance as a technique. This has wide applicability across a number of sectors.
Sectors Chemicals,Energy,Environment,Healthcare,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology,Pharmaceuticals and Medical Biotechnology

URL https://www.southampton.ac.uk/chemistry/about/staff/mhl.page
 
Description The NMR equipment purchased in this award is now fully operational. It has already been instrumental in enabling a consortium (ZULF), a Marie Curie ITN, with academic and non academic partners.
First Year Of Impact 2019
Sector Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Chemicals,Energy,Healthcare,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology,Pharmaceuticals and Medical Biotechnology
Impact Types Societal,Economic

 
Description EPSRC Platform Grant
Amount £1,784,689 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/P009980/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 03/2017 
End 02/2022
 
Description European Research Council Advanced Grant
Amount € 2,762,223 (EUR)
Funding ID 786707 
Organisation European Commission 
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start 10/2018 
End 09/2023
 
Description Marie Sklodowska-Curie Innovative Training Networks
Amount € 2,794,786 (EUR)
Funding ID 766402 
Organisation European Commission 
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start 02/2018 
End 01/2022
 
Description Underpinning Equipment
Amount £1,999,999 (GBP)
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2017 
End 03/2018
 
Title SpinDynamica software 
Description SpinDynamica software is a Mathematica-based system for analyzing, understanding, and simulating nuclear spin dynamics, with applications to NMR and MRI. 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Year Produced 2018 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact Widespread use in the NMR community 
URL http://www.spindynamica.soton.ac.uk/
 
Description Endofullerene consortium starting 2015 
Organisation Institut Laue–Langevin
Country France 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution NMR & theory
Collaborator Contribution multidisciplinary research and measurements
Impact Numerous outputs. See linked grants. Multidisciplinary: chemistry, physics
Start Year 2015
 
Description Endofullerene consortium starting 2015 
Organisation Institute of Electronics Microelectronics and Nanotechnology
Country France 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution NMR & theory
Collaborator Contribution multidisciplinary research and measurements
Impact Numerous outputs. See linked grants. Multidisciplinary: chemistry, physics
Start Year 2015
 
Description Endofullerene consortium starting 2015 
Organisation Jagiellonian University
Department Jagiellonian University Medical College
Country Poland 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution NMR & theory
Collaborator Contribution multidisciplinary research and measurements
Impact Numerous outputs. See linked grants. Multidisciplinary: chemistry, physics
Start Year 2015
 
Description Endofullerene consortium starting 2015 
Organisation Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz
Country Germany 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution NMR & theory
Collaborator Contribution multidisciplinary research and measurements
Impact Numerous outputs. See linked grants. Multidisciplinary: chemistry, physics
Start Year 2015
 
Description Endofullerene consortium starting 2015 
Organisation National institute of Chemical Physics, Tallinn
Country Estonia 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution NMR & theory
Collaborator Contribution multidisciplinary research and measurements
Impact Numerous outputs. See linked grants. Multidisciplinary: chemistry, physics
Start Year 2015
 
Description Endofullerene consortium starting 2015 
Organisation University of Nottingham
Department School of Psychology Nottingham
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution NMR & theory
Collaborator Contribution multidisciplinary research and measurements
Impact Numerous outputs. See linked grants. Multidisciplinary: chemistry, physics
Start Year 2015
 
Description Endofullerenes as laser materials 
Organisation Institute of Electronics Microelectronics and Nanotechnology
Country France 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Materials, theory, concepts
Collaborator Contribution Experiments, concepts, materials
Impact none yet
Start Year 2019
 
Description Field-cycling investigations of long-lived nuclear spin states 
Organisation Russian Academy of Sciences
Department International Tomography Center
Country Russian Federation 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Samples, ideas, spin dynamical expertise
Collaborator Contribution Equipment, personnel, spin dynamical expertise
Impact Publications listed under grants
Start Year 2018
 
Description Hyperpolarization collaboration 
Organisation Cambridge Cancer Centre
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution NMR techniques, materials, theory, simulations
Collaborator Contribution MRI techniques, materials, methodology
Impact Too complex to report here.
Start Year 2010
 
Description Hyperpolarization collaboration 
Organisation Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL)
Country Switzerland 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution NMR techniques, materials, theory, simulations
Collaborator Contribution MRI techniques, materials, methodology
Impact Too complex to report here.
Start Year 2010
 
Description Hyperpolarization collaboration 
Organisation University of Copenhagen
Country Denmark 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution NMR techniques, materials, theory, simulations
Collaborator Contribution MRI techniques, materials, methodology
Impact Too complex to report here.
Start Year 2010
 
Description Hyperpolarization collaboration 
Organisation University of Pennsylvania
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution NMR techniques, materials, theory, simulations
Collaborator Contribution MRI techniques, materials, methodology
Impact Too complex to report here.
Start Year 2010
 
Description Hyperpolarization collaboration 
Organisation École normale supérieure de Lyon (ENS Lyon)
Country France 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution NMR techniques, materials, theory, simulations
Collaborator Contribution MRI techniques, materials, methodology
Impact Too complex to report here.
Start Year 2010
 
Description Hyperpolarized 3He NMR 
Organisation Jagiellonian University
Country Poland 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution samples, background knowledge, ideas
Collaborator Contribution 3He NMR and MRI
Impact none yet
Start Year 2018
 
Description Infrared and THz spectroscopy of endofullerenes 
Organisation Institute of Electronics Microelectronics and Nanotechnology
Country France 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Provision of samples, theory, numerical simulations
Collaborator Contribution Terahertz and infrared spectroscopy, and their interpretation
Impact Numerous outputs listed under associated grants in ResearchFish
Start Year 2015
 
Description Infrared and THz spectroscopy of endofullerenes 
Organisation Max Planck Society
Department Fritz Haber Institute
Country Germany 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Provision of samples, theory, numerical simulations
Collaborator Contribution Terahertz and infrared spectroscopy, and their interpretation
Impact Numerous outputs listed under associated grants in ResearchFish
Start Year 2015
 
Description Infrared and THz spectroscopy of endofullerenes 
Organisation National Institute of Chemical Physics and Biophysics
Country Estonia 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Provision of samples, theory, numerical simulations
Collaborator Contribution Terahertz and infrared spectroscopy, and their interpretation
Impact Numerous outputs listed under associated grants in ResearchFish
Start Year 2015
 
Description Neutron scattering of endofullerenes 
Organisation Institut Laue–Langevin
Country France 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Provision of samples, concepts, and theoretical expertise
Collaborator Contribution PhD studentship; instrument time; expert help; accommodation and substistence
Impact Numerous publications; listed under associated grants in` ResearchFish.
Start Year 2015
 
Description Theory and investigations of nuclear spin isomer conversion (especially in water) 
Organisation National institute of Chemical Physics, Tallinn
Country Estonia 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Experimental results, theory
Collaborator Contribution Theory, interpretation
Impact none yet
Start Year 2019
 
Description Theory and investigations of nuclear spin isomer conversion (especially in water) 
Organisation Russian Academy of Sciences
Country Russian Federation 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Experimental results, theory
Collaborator Contribution Theory, interpretation
Impact none yet
Start Year 2019
 
Description ZULF consortium 
Organisation Claude Bernard University Lyon 1 (UCBL)
Department Astrophysics Research Centre of Lyon (CRAL)
Country France 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Theory, simulations, NMR methodology
Collaborator Contribution Collaborative research
Impact publication DOIs: 10.1016/j.jmr.2019.106645 10.1039/C8CC06636A 10.1063/1.5089486
Start Year 2017
 
Description ZULF consortium 
Organisation Italian Institute of Technology (Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia IIT)
Country Italy 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Theory, simulations, NMR methodology
Collaborator Contribution Collaborative research
Impact publication DOIs: 10.1016/j.jmr.2019.106645 10.1039/C8CC06636A 10.1063/1.5089486
Start Year 2017
 
Description ZULF consortium 
Organisation Jagiellonian University
Country Poland 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Theory, simulations, NMR methodology
Collaborator Contribution Collaborative research
Impact publication DOIs: 10.1016/j.jmr.2019.106645 10.1039/C8CC06636A 10.1063/1.5089486
Start Year 2017
 
Description ZULF consortium 
Organisation Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz
Country Germany 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Theory, simulations, NMR methodology
Collaborator Contribution Collaborative research
Impact publication DOIs: 10.1016/j.jmr.2019.106645 10.1039/C8CC06636A 10.1063/1.5089486
Start Year 2017
 
Description ZULF consortium 
Organisation University of Cambridge
Department Cambridge Neuroscience
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Theory, simulations, NMR methodology
Collaborator Contribution Collaborative research
Impact publication DOIs: 10.1016/j.jmr.2019.106645 10.1039/C8CC06636A 10.1063/1.5089486
Start Year 2017
 
Description ZULF consortium 
Organisation University of Turin
Department Molecular Imaging Center
Country Italy 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Theory, simulations, NMR methodology
Collaborator Contribution Collaborative research
Impact publication DOIs: 10.1016/j.jmr.2019.106645 10.1039/C8CC06636A 10.1063/1.5089486
Start Year 2017
 
Description ZULF consortium 
Organisation University of Ulm
Department Department of Dermatology and Allergic Diseases
Country Germany 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Theory, simulations, NMR methodology
Collaborator Contribution Collaborative research
Impact publication DOIs: 10.1016/j.jmr.2019.106645 10.1039/C8CC06636A 10.1063/1.5089486
Start Year 2017
 
Description ZULF consortium 
Organisation University of York
Department York Environmental Sustainability Institute
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Theory, simulations, NMR methodology
Collaborator Contribution Collaborative research
Impact publication DOIs: 10.1016/j.jmr.2019.106645 10.1039/C8CC06636A 10.1063/1.5089486
Start Year 2017
 
Description dDNP collaboration 
Organisation Technical University of Denmark
Country Denmark 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution NMR methodology, theory and experiments.
Collaborator Contribution NMR methodology, theory and experiments.
Impact see grant entries.
Start Year 2016
 
Description dDNP collaboration 
Organisation University of Cambridge
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution NMR methodology, theory and experiments.
Collaborator Contribution NMR methodology, theory and experiments.
Impact see grant entries.
Start Year 2016
 
Description dDNP collaboration 
Organisation École Normale Supérieure, Paris
Country France 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution NMR methodology, theory and experiments.
Collaborator Contribution NMR methodology, theory and experiments.
Impact see grant entries.
Start Year 2016
 
Description dDNP collaboration 
Organisation École normale supérieure de Lyon (ENS Lyon)
Country France 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution NMR methodology, theory and experiments.
Collaborator Contribution NMR methodology, theory and experiments.
Impact see grant entries.
Start Year 2016
 
Title SpinDynamica 
Description Large set of Mathematica packages for analyzing, simulating, and understanding NMR experiments. 
Type Of Technology Software 
Year Produced 2017 
Impact widely used in NMR community 
URL http://www.spindynamica.soton.ac.uk