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NMR Centers in the Netherlands
- Universty of Amsterdam
- Eindhoven University of Technology
- Leiden University
- Radboud University Nijmegen
- Utrecht University
- Wageningen University
The Amsterdam facilities are centered within the Catalysis and Synthesis groups as a central facility of the Van ’t Hoff Institute for Molecular Sciences (HIMS). Other facilities exist at the faculties of medicine and biology and at the v.d. Waals-Zeeman laboratory (physics) and several other, such as the Free University.
The expertise concerns the area of hetero nuclei with low receptivity and detectability, especially transition metal nuclei. This niche is extremely important for research programs in HIMS such as Catalysis and Synthesis. The continuity of research in synthesis and catalysis requires, besides routine NMR for structure elucidation of small molecules (up to 5000 D), access to high field NMR equipment (600-700 MHz) for high-resolution NMR of synthetic materials, diffusion-ordered spectroscopy of supra-molecular entities and aggregates.
The Eindhoven Magnetic Resonance Laboratories consist of four groups within the Eindhoven University of Technology. Research and teaching of the BioMedical NMR group (Department of Biomedical Engineering, headed by Nicolay) is aimed at the development and use of in vivo magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and spectroscopy (MRS) techniques. MRI and MRS are exploited for their unique possibilities to investigate a range of structural, functional and metabolic parameters in living systems. The team plays an important role in the training of in vivo NMR experts that go on to take up positions in biomedical NMR research at university medical centers and Philips Healthcare. The group Transport in Permeable Media (Department of Applied Physics) develops and employs NMR scanners to study transport and phase changes in technological porous materials. Typical topics are water and salt transport in building materials, and the curing and durability of coatings. The Solid-State NMR group (Department of Chemistry) investigates materials for heterogeneous catalysis, energy storage and polymer science. A recurrent theme is dynamical processes in nanostructured materials. The group Macro-Organic Chemistry (Departments of Chemistry and Biomedical Engineering) aims at closing the gap between organic chemistry on the one hand and macromolecular chemistry and materials on the other hand. Liquid-state NMR is one of major techniques employed in the group to characterize the molecular structure.
Leiden groups perform fundamental and applied NMR spectroscopy with solid state NMR, for complex systems in solution, in metabolomics and with force detection methods.
The unifying focus of the fundamental research in Leiden is on resolving functional energy landscapes. With NMR spectroscopy we analyze, explain and pave the way for mimicking the functional complexity, static and dynamic, of biomolecular assemblies driving biocatalysis and signal transduction, energy and electron transfer, self-assembly and self-organization, development and evolution. We explore the boundaries in instrumentation with ultrahigh magnetic field, light-induced polarization enhancement, flow-through compound library screening, paramagnetic NMR tools for protein interactions and micro-MRI.
Research aimed at NMR applications focuses on atomic scale MRI, new, faster methods for drug development, translational medicine and pulsed metabolomics. The groups participate in public-private partnerships for in vivo spectroscopy for translational research in medicine, metabolomics, solar fuel research and the development of novel NMR instrumentation. Commercial spin-offs comprise ZOBIO (high throughput ligand screening), PLI (labeling of cells and tissue) and isotope labeling by total synthesis as part of Buchem B.V.
The three research groups of the Institute for Molecules and Materials (IMM, Radboud University Nijmegen), focusing on Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy, cover a broad range of research topics in the areas of Functional Materials, Sustainability and Health. Their research is structured in three layers. On the highest aggregation level are the applied projects, which are mainly focused on biomedical applications (structural biology of biomolecules and their complexes, metabolomics / molecular systems biology) and materials research for energy storage and conversion, and self-assembly in biomimetic materials. Within these projects the structure directing forces and transport and dynamics can be identified as fundamental underlying concepts that the groups are exploring to gain an in-depth understanding of the principles that bring a specific functionality to a molecular construct or material. This approach requires appropriate methodology. The groups direct a considerable amount of their research towards enabling technologies with the ambition to progress from bulk characterization to an approach that allows unraveling of the inner workings of the smallest functional units in relation to the processes and functionalities under investigation. Here hyperpolarization, microcoil-based probe developments, metabolomic screening approaches and computational strategies are most prominent. Spinnovation has spun-off as a company focusing on metabolic profiling and providing solids and liquids NMR analytical services.
Research at the Utrecht NMR group centers around three focal points:
• Firstly, we are continuously developing NMR-based concepts that permit the structural and dynamical description of biomolecular systems of increasing size and complexity in a solution or solid state.
• Secondly, we apply these methods to characterize elementary biological processes in close relationship to molecular function or pharmacological intervention. Thus far, solution-state NMR methods have been used in target areas such as transcription regulation, DNA repair or protein synthesis. In parallel, solid-state NMR techniques have been designed to examine signal transduction and molecular transport processes across cellular compartments and molecular assemblies at atomic resolution.
• Thirdly, we develop and apply computational structural biology methods that can be readily combined with NMR and/or other biophysical and bioinformatics information sources.
All projects are embedded in a strong local and (inter)national research environment allowing us to describe molecular and cellular structure and organization on different levels of time and spatial resolution.
Research at the Wageningem NMR center aims to characterize (chemically and physically) structure-function relationships of complex mixtures and (bio)systems with applications in life sciences (health, nutrition, ecology, plants, food, biology). A combination of various NMR and MRI spectrometers (low field portable, Time Domain, imaging, solid and liquid state spectroscopy and high field LC-SPE-NMR-MS) is exploited for these purposes.
NMR and MRI hardware and methods development is directed to study intact plants (production, hydraulic conductance, water limitation, product quality), food and fruits ((molecular)composition, processing, structure characterization, functional components, metabolomics, authenticity, safety) and food-health relationship by body fluid analyses (high throughput metabolomics, proteomics and biomarker search). The groups have contributed largely to the development of new methods to unravel transport processes in porous bio-systems and to hyphenated methods for complex mixture analysis.
The 3T intact plant MRI and high field LC-SPE-NMR-MS systems, in combination with available databases and simulation programs for identification, are rather unique. Recently Rheo-MRI for soft matter structure studies under dynamic (stress) conditions has been realized.
The equipment and expertise available within the Wageningen NMR Centre is embedded on local and (inter)national scale, and has been supported by EU funding since 1992 to stimulate access to Research Infrastructure WNMRC for NMR in agriculture, food and biology.