Dr Hilde Roex is the co-ordinator of the second year organic chemistry laboratory course of the Chemistry Program (Gasthuisberg campus, Faculty Management & Technology). Here, the students apply NMR in their organic chemistry laboratory to identify the molecular structure of their synthesized products. They are taught to see the value of NMR for quality control and its use alongside other analytical methods including gas and liquid chromatography. Their goal is to be able to interpret proton NMR spectra and to learn that proton NMR and FT-IR spectroscopy are complementary techniques. This helps to make students familiar with NMR showing them applications of its wide use in industry.
Dr Peter Keizers is a scientist in the Centre for Health Protection at RIVM, the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment based in Bilthoven. As a chemist, he investigates (illegal) drugs, medical devices and other medicinal products. His group studies the composition of these products and specifically look for active pharmaceutical ingredients, preferably in a quantitative way.
HTBLA Wels is a higher technical vocational college of chemistry in Austria. Here, Dr Harald Baumgartner is responsible for the instrumental analytical laboratory. The lab’s main focus is to teach students the basics of NMR (interpretation of spectra).
Dr Baumgartner says “Compared to the old 60 MHz spectrometer, the Magritek Spinsolve benchtop spectrometer is so much easier to use. It is software-based so collecting and processing data is quite straightforward. As well as 1H spectra, our Spinsolve allows us to measure more complex spectra including 13C-spectra. Even 2-dimensional experiments are now available to the students.”
A college student learns about NMR with the Magritek Spinsolve Carbon at HTLBA Wels in Austria
Cleveland State University in Ohio is developing into one of the best urban universities in the nation. Investment at the ground roots graduate level is illustrated by the recent purchase of benchtop NMR spectrometry to offer students hands-on experience of the latest in scientific instrumentation.
Dr Vania De Paoli is an associate college lecturer in the Department of Chemistry where she is leading a program to create a solid environment for teaching Organic Chemistry. Prior to investing in the Magritek benchtop NMR spectrometer, students‘ practical options were limited to the measurement of melting points and refractive index. Students were not experiencing anything close to life in a modern organic chemistry laboratory.
As Dr De Paoli says, the Spinsolve has changed this position immensely. “It is a small system, portable and lightweight. It is quickly ready to use allowing the students to have a real NMR analysis experience (they prepare the samples in standard NMR tubes, add the solvent and record the spectra in similar ways to a research grade NMR). The spectra are of good quality. The software is friendly and, overall, Spinsolve is readily affordable.”
Dr Irosha Nawarathne is an Assistant Professor in the Chemistry Department at Lyon College, a selective liberal arts institution in rural Arkansas. Her work bridges biomedical research to teaching students the practical use of instrumentation to prepare them for employment and the challenges of the chemical industry. She summarizes her experience with the Spinsolve, which was added to the Chemistry Department in 2015:
Spinsolve has become the most popular among faculty and students of our chemistry program. It is used in organic chemistry, instrumental analysis, and advanced inorganic chemistry laboratories. We plan to extend the usage to other areas too. Students have become very interested in the concept of NMR because of this instrument. Their knowledge of NMR is improved tremendously after the incorporation of Spinsolve in the chemistry program. It is easy to operate, provides quick analysis, and requires very low maintenance. Spinsolve is definitely the best fit for a small college like ours. We formerly had a cryogenic NMR spectrometer at Lyon but the chemistry program has not been able to maintain the instrument in the long term. Spinsolve is low cost and its low maintenance is key for its great fit to Lyon chemistry program. It is also used in recruiting keen students as they get really excited about the instrument and its capabilities during frequent campus tours.
Dr Leena Kaisalo heads up the Organic Chemistry student laboratory at the University of Helsinki. While the Laboratory’s research focuses on organic synthesis, Dr Kaisalo’s role is to lead the teaching of bachelor and masters students in various analytical techniques including NMR.
Dr Leena Kaisalo uses her Magritek Spinsolve Benchtop NMR Spectrometer at the University of Helsinki Chemistry Department
Dr Jonathan Harburn is a Lecturer in Medicinal Chemistry in the Wolfson Research Institute located in the School of Medicine, Pharmacy and Health at Durham University. Working together with Drs Stuart Cockerill and Jonathan Sellars, Dr Harburn’s research goals are to create clinical drug candidates for the treatment of viruses, bacteria and cancer.
In their research, recent progress has focussed repurposing novel fluorinated drug fragments on known drug scaffolds to develop hit identification. 19F NMR using Spinsolve is one of the most useful tools in confirming fluorinated fragment incorporation with spectra run in 3 minutes. Also, 1H NMR is routinely carried out for identification before further spectral data is acquired on higher field NMR.
Alistair Paterson, a Level 2 MPharm student at Durham University, uses Spinsolve to evaluate his sulfathiazole sample
Professor Steven Ley’s laboratories are located in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Cambridge. Their research specialises in flow chemistry and organic synthesis. They are renowned for collaborations with academic and industrial partners. Précising their work, Steve says
“Complex synthesis remains a challenging occupation requiring an exceptional level of experimental skill, extensive knowledge of both mechanistic and molecular reactivity, and a bold, inventive, and creative spirit. It is the combination of these qualities that transforms the synthesis process from one of simple logistics to an art form.”
Dr Jeroen Geuens is a member of the Centre of Expertise on Sustainable Chemistry (CESC) based in Antwerp at the Karel de Grote University College. The Centre specialises in research and services related to chemical and production processes together with offering professional degree courses.
Before discovering the Spinsolve benchtop NMR from Magritek they could only get access to NMR measurements by taking their samples to the University of Antwerp. The Spinsolve is now used continuously for both teaching and research in the CESC. Dr Geuens takes up the story.
Dr Alan Kenwright is Reader in Spectroscopy and Manager of the solution-state NMR facility in the Chemistry Department at Durham University. His personal research is focussed on developing and using NMR techniques to solve a range of chemical problems. In choosing to use Magritek’s Spinsolve, Dr Kenwright anticipates it will allow the extension of his work in various areas in ways that he could not otherwise. He plans to use the equipment initially in three areas:
Dr Nicola Rogers is a post doc in the Kenwright group using the Magritek Spinsolve to make relaxation measurements on lanthanide complexes at Durham University. For ease of use, it is mounted on a trolley making it easy to move from lab to lab.
“The first application is in looking at lanthanide complexes of the sort used as contrast agents for MRI” … “being able to do measurements in the relatively low magnetic field (43 MHz) used by Magritek’s Spinsolve is a big advantage for us, particularly as the field it uses it not very different to the field actually used in many hospital MRI scanners. These measurements using the Spinsolve are just starting to appear in the literature.” (reference given at the end of this blog post)