NANUC Newsletter
September 2008

Welcome back to school everyone,

The leaves are turning brown and the days are becoming shorter.  The campuses and hallways are full again.  Good luck to all those continuing research and to all those instructing the fine young minds of tomorrow. 

Here at NANUC at the University of Alberta we're enjoying a warm and sunny September.  We're busy planning our next BootCamp, writing book chapters and planning for the next grant.

We've had some minor technical malfunctions which we worked through over the past few months.  With every malfunction there's an opportunity to learn and we've learned quite a bit over the years.  Please feel free to contact us with any questions you may have about your system.
National High Field NMR Centre (NANUC)
University of Alberta

Manostat Malaise
Mission Accomplished
NMR Events
NMR Opportunities
The MRDC 600MHz
The MRDC 600 MHz was brought online in 2005.

14.1T  51mm Oxford magnet (4.1K)

Varian VNMRS console
Z gradients
2 complete channels with waveform generators


5mm HX - z gradient

Sample System
Varian 768AS - 768 temperature controlled samples available for NMR analysis.
Computer & Power

Dell Precision 390N with 14" - monitor
4.0 kVa UPS for console
 The MRDC 600MHz system is housed and maintained at NANUC.  This system is utilized by the  Magnetic Resonance Diagnostics Centre (MRDC) for metabolomic research.  With automation via the 768AS robot soon to be implemented we expect sample throughput to sky rocket and provide vast amounts of data for MRDC researchers.
Manostat Malaise
ManostatTroubles with the NANUC 800MHz Manostat

In most new cryostat sytems 600 MHz or above manostat systems are installed in order to regulate the helium pressure within helium bath.  Because of the sensitivity in the higher frequency range of NMR such fluctuations in pressure within the helium bath can affect the resolution of acquired spectra.

In the NANUC 800 MHz system a manostat regulates the pressure within the upper helium bath.  Fluctuations in the upper bath will cause fluctuations in the fridge pressure which will de-stabilize the temperature of the lower 2.2K bath. 

Starting in July we began to observe major fluctuations in the upper helium bath.  Our first theory was that there was an over cooling of the top bath.  This would be caused by drawing too much helium through the cooling fridge system.   The cooling of the top bath might reduce the helium vapour pressure making it insufficient to achieve a regulated pressure of 990 mbar.

We noticed a steady decline in the overall temperature of the top bath as a result of over cooling the lower bath.  Our first course of action was to lower the fridge pressure by closing the needle valve.  It was hoped that a rise in lower bath temperature would warm and stabilize the upper bath.

The upper and lower bath temperature did rise but there were no signs that this was improving our upper bath helium venting.  The manostat manufacturer, Bronkhorst, let us know that the only moving part in the manostat assembly is the main regulating solenoid.  This solenoid is the silver cylindrical component in the system.  In their experience that is the part that would most likely fail within the system.

It just so happened that we had a spare manostat system.  Two years ago the printed circuit board in another manostat unit over heated and burnt out leaving us with some spare parts.  The solenoid from the old system was put into the existing system and we obtained upper bath pressure regulation at 990 mbar. 

So for all those with manostats on your NMR systems, if you ever see regulation problems, check the main solenoid first.  Checkout our graphs showing the pressures and temperatures resulting from our manostat difficulties.  (Manostat Problems)
Mission Accomplished!
Banner The 2008 NANUC BootCamp (July 27th to August 2nd) was another great success this year, despite the new challenges of hosting the course in the United States (University of Connecticut Health Centre, Farmington CT).  This year 21 students, mostly from across the United States and Canada, participated full time with another three students attending select days.

Speakers included Frank Delaglio (NMRPipe), Bruce Johnson (NMRViewJ), Jeff Hoch and Mark Maciejewski (RNMRTK, Univ. of Connecticut Health Center), Charles Schwieters (XPLOR-NIH) and Michael Gryk (Connjur, Univ. of Connecticut Health Center).  The speakers were well received and the presentations quite excellent and well prepared.

UConnIn addition, Ryan McKay (NANUC) and Anna Zawadzka (Poland, Graduate Student in the Kozminski Laboratory) presented Monday afternoon and early evening.  Ryan McKay presented approximately 3 hours of lectures on VNMRJ (2.1B and 2.2C) and the use of BioPack in biomolecular studies.  Students were especially interested in 3D-gradient shimming, sample preparation, lock, shims, cold probe performance/decoupling spin locking limts, solvent suppression, and new SOFAST style experiments.  Students were impressed with the new software GUI and features, especially the continued support of BioPack and associated pulse sequences.  Anna Zawadzka presented for one hour on the implementation of non-uniform data acquisition pertaining to the Kozminski implementation into BioPack and the automation of sampling schedules.  The students were all very impressed with the ease of acquiring these otherwise complicated data sets.

Thank you very much to all attendees for their enthusiasm and to all speakers for their informative presentations.  Next year's BootCamp will be back at our home base at the University of Alberta.  Our theme will be small molecule NMR and advances in new NMR processing and viewing software.  If you have any suggestions for speakers or applications that you would like to see at our next BootCamp please let us know.  See Contact Information Below.

June 1-6       NMRFAM Protein Structure Determination Workshop            NMRFAM, Madison, Wisconsin, USA
June 4-6       EUROMAR 2008                                                                    Parma, Italy
July 13-17      9th Int'l. Bologna Conference on MR in Porous Media               St. Petersburg, Russia
July 20-25     Gordon Research Conference In Vivo Magnetic Resonance      Andover, New Hampshire, USA
July 21-23     Meeting on NMR sample preparation                                          Wolfson College Oxford, UK
July 27-31     Rocky Mountain Solids NMR Workshop                     Beaver Run Resort, Breckenridge, Colorado, USA
July 27-Aug. 2      2008 NANUC BootCamp                                  UConn Helath Center, Farmington, Connecticut, USA
Aug. 17-21     Structure Determination of Biological Macromolecules by Solution NMR     Bethesda, Maryland, USA
Aug. 24-29     23rd ICMRBS                                                                                                San Diego, California, USA
Sept. 7-10       SMASH 2008, Small Molecule NMR Conference                              Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA
Sept. 8-15       Structure determination of bio macromolecules by solution NMR     Beijing NMR Center Beijing, China
Sept. 10-13     38th National Congress on Magnetic Resonance                             Bressanone / Brixen, Italy
Sept. 15-20     9th International Workshop on Magnetic Resonance                        Rostov-on-Don, Russia
Sept. 21-24    Reunión Bienal del GERMN / Reunión Ibérica de RMN                     Sevilla, Spain
Oct. 4-5                  21st Annual MOOT NMR Symposium                                                Windsor, Ontario, Canada
Nov. 12-14             47th Annual Meeting of the NMR Society of Japan                            University of Tsukuba, Japan
March, 2009
March 29-Apr 3     50th ENC, Asilomar                                                                             Pacific Grove, CA, USA
April, 2009
April 18-24             17th ISMRM Meeting                                                                          Honolulu, Hawaii, USA
April 21-22             2nd Int'l. Meeting on NMR & Quant. Analysis                                     Stockholm, Sweden

If you know of an upcoming NMR related event or are hosting one please send us the information and we'll post it.
Institution                             Position                         Location                     Contact / Link
Varian                                  Field Service Representative            Toronto, ON                           Varian NMR Canada
Varian                                  Research and Development              Palo Alto, CA                            Varian NMR
Varian                                 Technical Support Engineer               Walnut Creek, CA                      Varian NMR
Bruker                                 Field Service/Systems Engineer        Huston, TX                              Bruker Biospin
University of Guelph           Post Doctoral Fellow                          Guelph, ON                                 L. Brown
Structural Proteomics         Post Doctoral Fellow                          Toronto, ON                                M. Deeton
University of Western Ontario     Post Doctoral Fellow                  London, ON                                G. Shaw
University of Western Ontario     Post Doctoral Fellow                  London, ON                                 J. Choy
Boise State University                 Facility Manager                        Boise, Idaho                              Boise State
National Research Council           MRI Specialist                          Calgary, Alberta                       Careers NRC

If you have an NMR related position available please contact us and we'll post it.
NANUC staff are available for questions regarding NMR experiments, procedures, and support infrastructure.  If you have any questions regarding NMR and what it can do for you please contact us.  Collaboration opportunities are always available.

Deryck Webb
National High Field NMR Centre (NANUC)
101 NANUC Bldg.
University of Alberta
Edmonton, Alberta
T6G 2E1
ph - (780) 707-0857
fax - (780) 492-9174