Editor's Summary

7 June 2007

NMR up to speed


Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) is one of the most powerful and versatile methods for probing the structure and dynamics of liquids and solids, in an entirely noninvasive manner. But it has one big drawback: an intrinsically extremely poor sensitivity, making it unsuitable for really small samples. Enter MACS — magic angle coil spinning. This new technique exploits inductive coupling to facilitate wireless transmission of probe pulses and wireless reception of NMR signals. This in turn allows the NMR detector coil and the sample to be spun together very rapidly, so that NMR measurements can be made with high sensitivity. The method amplifies signals from small samples of organic powders and biological tissue by almost an order of magnitude, and should prove particularly useful for high-throughput chemical and biomedical analysis.

News and ViewsSpectroscopy: The magic of solenoids

A technique known as magic-angle spinning has helped make nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy as sensitive for solids as it is for solutions. Inductive thinking leads to even better signal detection.

Arthur S. Edison & Joanna R. Long

doi:10.1038/447646a

LetterHigh-resolution, high-sensitivity NMR of nanolitre anisotropic samples by coil spinning

D. Sakellariou, G. Le Goff & J.-F. Jacquinot

doi:10.1038/nature05897