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Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectrometry - Essay Example

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Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy, or simply Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (MRS), is a non-invasive and non-destructive analytical technique that is used widely in the medical field for studying metabolic changes in brain tumors, Alzheimer's disease, seizure disorders, strokes, depression and other related diseases affecting the brain…
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Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectrometry
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Download file to see previous pages A large variety information is obtainable through a nuclear MRS spectrum.
Much like the way infrared spectroscopy is used to identify functional groups, the analysis of a 1-dimensional nuclear MRS spectrum provides information on the number and type of chemical entities in a molecule. The impact of MRS on the natural sciences has been substantial. It can, among other things, be used to study complex mixtures of analytes, understand dynamic effects like change in reaction mechanisms, pressure and temperature, and investigate protein and nucleic acid structures and functions. It is a method that can be applied to a wide variety of samples, both in solution and solid state.
MRS is a tool used by biochemists for medical research projects, and by doctors to gather useful clinical information which can be helpful in the diagnosis and treatment of various diseases. It applications in the field of medicine are, in general, within the scope of detecting neurological disorders. For instance, it is used to identify Neural Progenitor Cells in the live human brain without any risky surgery of any sort (Manganas, et al., 2007). Neurological infections require immediate identification and treatment. Medical physicists and doctors have always found it difficult to accurately and rapidly diagnose such infections in both children and adults. MRS, however, has opened up new avenues and is now used as a safe, non-surgical method for the identification of brain infections like brain abscess and meningitis.
Outside neurology, MRS is used to measure phosphate, phosphocreatine, ATP and phosphodiesters in fibromyalgic muscle tissue (Sprott et al., 2000). Furthermore, this technique is currently being investigated to study a number of other diseases in the human body, most notable of which include cancer, epilepsy and Huntington's Chorea.
MRS methods can further be divided on the basis of the specific procedures and principles used during detection and investigation. Correlation spectroscopy is one of the several types of 2-dimensional nuclear MRS techniques. Others types of NMR spectroscopy techniques include Exchange spectroscopy, J-spectroscopy, Protein Nuclear MRS, Total Correlation spectroscopy, Solid-state Nuclear MRS, and Nuclear Overhauser effect spectroscopy (Wuthrich, 1990).
Solid-state nuclear MRS is often related to structural investigations of membrane proteins, protein fibrils, polymers, and inorganic chemical analysis. Protein nuclear MRS, on the other hand, has major applications in pure structural biology, where it is used to obtain high resolution 3-dimensional protein structure and dynamics, much like what is produced by X-ray crystallography albeit in a less destructive manner using much lesser energy.
The entire phenomenon of magnetic resonance is a result of the fact that a spinning charge generates a magnetic field around it having a magnetic moment proportional to the spin. When an external magnetic field is applied to a sample, two possible spin states exist for any atom- +1/2 and -1/2. The magnetic moment of the lower energy spin state (+1/2) is aligned with the external field, and that of the higher energy spin state (-1/2) is opposed to the external field. The difference in energies of the two spin states is dependent on the external magnetic field strength, and is usually kept very small. Though the spin states have ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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