Quantitative Determination of Chemical Processes by Dynamic Nuclear Polarization Enhanced Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy



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Dissolution dynamic nuclear polarization (DNP) provides several orders of magnitude of NMR signal enhancement by converting the much larger electron spin polarization to nuclear spin polarization. Polarization occurs at low temperature (1.4K) and is followed by quickly dissolving the sample for room temperature NMR detection. DNP is generally applicable to almost any small molecules and can polarize various nuclei including 1H, 19F and 13C. The large signal from DNP enhancement reduces the limit of detection to micromolar or sub-micromolar concentration in a single scan. Since DNP enhancement often provides the only source for the observable signal, it enables tracking of the polarization flow. Therefore, DNP is ideal for studying chemical processes. Here, quantitative tools are developed to separate kinetics and spin relaxation, as well as to obtain structural information from these measurements. Techniques needed for analyzing DNP polarized sample are different from those used in conventional NMR because a large, yet non-renewable hyperpolarization is available. Using small flip angle pulse excitation, the hyperpolarization can still be divided into multiple scans. Based on this principle, a scheme is presented that allows reconstruction of indirect spectral dimensions similarly to conventional 2D NMR. Additionally, small flip angle pulses can be used to obtain a succession of scans separated in time. A model describing the combined effects of the evolution of a chemical process and of spin-lattice relaxation is shown. Applied to a Diels-Alder reaction, it permitted measuring kinetics along with the effects of auto- and cross-relaxation. DNP polarization of small molecules also shows significant promise for studying protein-ligand interaction. The binding of fluorinated ligands to the protease trypsin was studied through the observation of various NMR parameter changes, such as line width, signal intensity and chemical shift of the ligands. Intermolecular polarization transfer from hyperpolarized ligand to protein can further provide information about the binding pocket of the protein. As an alternative to direct observation of protein signal, a model is presented to describe a two-step intermolecular polarization transfer between competitively binding ligands mediated through the common binding pocket of the protein. The solutions of this model relate the evolution of signal intensities to the intermolecular cross relaxation rates, which depend on individual distances in the binding epitope. In summary, DNP provides incomparable sensitivity, speed and selectivity to NMR. Quantitative models such as those discussed here enable taking full advantage of these benefits for the study of chemical processes.