TROY, N.Y., March 13, 2006 -- Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) today unveiled an 800-MHz nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectrometer, which aids in research on the cause and treatment of disease, at its Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies.
The new device is currently the most sensitive and powerful NMR spectrometer in upstate New York, RPI said. The 800-MHz NMR spectrometer, made by Bruker BioSpin Corp., weighs approximately 10 tons and stands almost two stories high. It joins a 600-MHz unit Rensselaer obtained last year for the NMR facility at the center. In NMR-based research, the sensitivity of the instrument is paramount, and stronger magnetic fields provide significantly better signals and data resolution.
The NMR spectrometer is a superconducting magnet that uses strong magnetic fields to provide detailed information on the 3-D structure of biological molecules. This information can assist researchers who are seeking to better understand proteins that cause disease and seeking new therapies to treat disease. RPI researchers are now using the high-field magnet to study health problems such as Alzheimer’s disease and to develop new methods for using NMR technology.
The new equipment is available for use by other research institutions and biotechnology businesses.
"We are pleased to house a powerful research tool that is accessible not only to researchers at Rensselaer but to private industry and researchers at other institutions," said Robert Palazzo, director of the Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies at RPI. "The presence of this magnificent instrument will allow us to study, at the atomic level, the proteins that cause a number of diseases."
The NMR facility is part of the Gen*NY*sis Center for Bioengineering and Medicine at RPI, a $22.5 million investment in biotechnology infrastructure by the state of New York. The state investment supports essential infrastructure, such as laboratory equipment and facilities, including the Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies, and augments fundamental and applied research at RPI. The Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies opened in 2004 and is funded by private, federal and state sources.
For more information, visit: www.rpi.edu