Sugars play a role in everyday life from food to medicine and much more. Sugars can form polymer chains with different lengths and degrees of branching that can alter their physical and chemical properties. In Application Note 8: Polysaccharide Chain Analysis we measure length and branching of polysaccharides using the Spinsolve benchtop NMR spectrometer. The spectrum of panose below shows possible shifts for the H-1 proton of the glucose unit in a polysaccharide chain.
NMR is a common tool used in biochemistry for structural analysis of macromolecules. Here we use the glucose as a simple small molecule system to show that you can observe different conformations within biomolecules using the Spinsolve benchtop NMR spectrometer. In solution, D-glucose is predominantly in the form of a pyranose ring, but that ring has two possible anomeric conformations. The anomeric proton is in the equatorial position for the alpha-anomer and in the axial position for the beta-anomer.
These two anomers are easily observed by their distinct NMR spectral lines at 4.6 and 5.2 ppm.