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Master Thesis NMR & Life Sciences

Interested to work on an interdisciplinary project at the interface of new NMR technologies and life science?

Recent experiments have shown that defects in diamond, in particular nitrogen-vacancy (NV) centers, can be used as quantum sensors for detecting nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) signals from tiny volumes down to a single molecule!

NV-NMR is paving the way for NMR analysis on the single-cell level enabling us to study metabolites and metabolic states of single living cells in a non-invasive and non-destructive way. To achieve this highly ambitious goal and due to the inherently low sensitivity of NMR, we employ so-called hyperpolarization schemes resulting in an exceptional enhancement of the NMR signal. A promising technique for breaking the sensitivity limitations of NMR is hyperpolarization of nuclear spins by parahydrogen induced polarization (PHIP). In these schemes the transfer of the non-thermal singlet spin order of parahydrogen to the target substrate leads to several orders of magnitude NMR signal amplification. This can be achieved either by direct hydrogenation of the thermally polarized precursor or by transiently binding parahydrogen and substrate to an organometallic catalyst. The latter scheme is known as signal amplification by reversible exchange (SABRE).

In this highly interdisciplinary Project at the interface of (quantum)physics, chemistry and biology you will put a cryostat for the production of parahydrogen into operation and use the PHIP or SABRE scheme for the hyperpolarization of interesting metabolites. Furthermore, you will learn how to use diamonds to detect nuclear magnetic resonances and record NV-NMR spectra of your hyperpolarized substrates. At last you will monitor the metabolism of single cells.

Tasks: Putting into operation a cryostat for the production parahydrogen, perform PHIP on a microfluidic chip

Techniques: NV-NMR, PHIP Hyperpolarization, Chemistry, Cell biology, Microtechnology

Skills: Ideally knowledge in NMR or hyperpolarization, chemistry and (bio)physics.

Contact dominik.bucher[ät]tum.de
The lab is located at the TUM Chemistry department (Physical Chemistry). For more information: www.bucherlab.org

Link: http://www.bucherlab.org