Oxford Instruments Molecular Biotools (OIMBL) has announced that it has entered into three landmark collaborative agreements with Pfizer Global R&D, Queen Mary and Westfield College and the University of Birmingham Institute for Cancer Studies.
These allow for the development of advanced and exciting applications in NMR science, utilizing the dramatic enhancement in signal to noise provided by HyperSense™.
HyperSense is an in vitro DNP polarizer capable of amplifying the baseline signal to noise of NMR systems by a factor of up to 10,000 for 1D NMR spectral analysis.
Announced at the Experimental Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Conference (ENC) in April 2005, HyperSense enables researchers to achieve an unrivalled level of information quality and richness, while opening up the field of practical NMR analysis to areas of research.
It is a modular instrument that will attach to any conventional NMR system, to deliver polarization-enhanced samples using a solid-state dynamic nuclear polarization (DNP) method recently licensed from GE Healthcare.
These organisations, representing some of the key NMR groups across academia and industry in the UK, will investigate different aspects of the use of the enhanced levels of signal to noise provided by HyperSense, in applications across life science research, pharmaceuticals and chemistry.
At the Henry Wellcome Building for Biomolecular NMR Spectroscopy in the University of Birmingham, Professor Michael Overduin and Dr Ulrich Gunther of the Institute for Cancer Studies will use HyperSense to conduct further research to identify biological markers for different types of cancer and to develop methods for determining the kinetics and dynamics of protein-ligand interactions.
In comparison, Dr Adrian Davis of Pfizer Global R&D, Sandwich, will investigate the applicability of HyperSense for identification of trace chemical species, in support of pharmaceutical drug development.
His team is also likely to explore HyperSense as a tool for the rapid characterization of compound libraries.
Prof. Geoff Hawkes of the Department of Chemistry, Queen Mary and Westfield College, University of London will use HyperSense™ to conduct research into molecular structures in several areas, including fullerenes and carbon nanotubes, nitrogen containing pharmaceuticals, and silicon in biofluids derived from implant materials.
He said, "This is a wonderful opportunity to use cutting-edge technology to explore the use of DNP in solving chemical problems which have so far proven too time consuming using conventional NMR spectroscopy."
"In so doing we hope to show how routinely applicable this technology is to more general problems of chemical structure determination."
Ulrich Gunther, Scientific Director of the Birmingham NMR centre said, "We are very excited about the prospects for HyperSense™ DNP technology, which will open up new roads in metabolomics where increased sensitivity will help with biomarker identification."
"This could lead to new diagnostic tools and potentially offer the ability to detect different types of cancer at an early stage."
"HyperSense™ may also create new possibilities for NMR in drug design."
HyperSense's potential in pharmaceutical research is also supported by Dr Adrian Davis, Pfizer Global R&D, Sandwich, who said, "The ubiquity of NMR as a chemical analysis tool in pharmaceutical chemistry requires that we evaluate new techniques to enhance NMR sensitivity and applicability."
"Through this collaboration we hope to learn much more about DNP and how it might help us enhance our ability to determine chemical structure."
Frank Trundle, Business Director of OIMBL, commented, "We are thrilled to sign collaborative agreements for this research, which provides the scientific community with a superb tool to assess some of the wide range of applications which may be enhanced or enabled using this technology."
"OIMBL sees this as a fantastic opportunity to show how HyperSense is capable of enhancing traditional NMR research applications and, as the first commercial system of its kind, HyperSense is expected to expand the use of NMR, a technique that has been traditionally limited by lack of sensitivity."
"Our partners, all leading researchers across the UK, will use HyperSense in a truly challenging and varied range of research applications and this will allow them to use an unparalleled technique across a wide range of applications."