The latest generation of high-field NMR spectrometers is within reach: the company Bruker is now building 1.2 GHz NMR spectrometers, with orders being placed by at least seven European laboratories. But why should we make the huge financial and technical investments required for these instruments?
In an editorial, Harald Schwalbe, University of Frankfurt, Germany, explains what problems have already been solved by using NMR spectroscopy, and the potential applications of 1.2 GHz machines. In the early 1990s, 600 MHz spectrometers allowed the study of proteins, and later, 800 MHz spectrometers could be used to detect the partial residual alignment of biomolecules. 900 MHz machines could be used to study megadalton protein complexes.
But what could the next generation of NMR spectrometers be used for? Both liquid- and solid-state NMR will benefit from the new technology, which could be used to study fast exchange in biomolecules, protein folding and cellular processes, and structure-based drug design. Methods research such as increasing signal-to-noise ratios will also benefit. Furthermore, the creation of high-field NMR centers will bring together researchers on the international level.
- New 1.2 GHz NMR Spectrometers- New Horizons?,
Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2017.